Ascension Parish Schools earns national awards for fiscal excellence

Staff Report
Shown, from left, are: Ascension Parish Schools Superintendent David Alexander, Dawn Dunn, Nicole Landry, Deshonna Jackson, Lakeita Dennis, Naquisha Larks, Kimneye Cox, Samantha Smothers, Joann Butler, Senator Edward Price, Assistant Superintendent A. Denise Graves, and in front Alexis Skidmore, and Shelly Madere

Ascension Parish Public Schools earned two national awards for fiscal excellence.

For the seventh consecutive year, Ascension Parish earned the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), and for the sixth consecutive year earned the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO).

Louisiana Sen. Edward Price presented the two awards at a March Ascension Parish School Board Meeting.

"A comprehensive financial report that meets the verified criteria to earn these certificates of excellence better meets the needs of citizens, investors, and all users of government financial information. Earning these awards is viewed as a positive factor by credit rating agencies and others interested in the professionalism of a government finance function," he said.

"I want to commend the Ascension Parish School Board and extend congratulations to Superintendent Alexander, Business Services Director Kimneye Cox, and the Business Services staff for their high-quality work and diligent pursuit of excellence which earned these awards," said Price.

The GFOA's Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program began in 1945 to promote the preparation of high-quality financial reports. Top-quality financial reporting is essential if governments are to be fully accountable to their citizens and to others with an interest in the government’s finances. A Comprehensive Annual Financial Report that meets the very high criteria to earn these certificates of excellence better meets the needs of citizens, investors, and all users of a government’s financial information. Earning this award is viewed as a positive factor by credit rating agencies and by others interested in the professionalism of a government’s finance function.

There are 87,000 governments in the United States and Canada; only 3,305, or the top 4 percent, of all of those governments, earned the award from GFOA. In Louisiana, only 33 of about 3,305 governments earned the award in 2020. Of those 33, 18 were school districts, which places the Ascension Parish School Board in the top 55 percent of school districts in the state; 1 percent of all governments in the state; and 4% of all governments in the United States and Canada.