February 5, 2024

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Good morning, FWISD!

The Division of Business and Finance is busier than ever at this time of the year! This month, our budget season kicks into high gear as we provide campuses with their General Fund Budget and Title I allocations so that they can begin making plans for the upcoming school year. We are also busy providing training and support to departments as they begin submitting their budgets. This year’s budget will be especially challenging as the district faces the sunsetting of ESSER dollars, loss of revenues due to enrollment, and a lack of legislative action to alleviate the financial burden.

As the Chief Financial Officer, I am responsible for ensuring the fiscal integrity of the district is on solid ground. We have several departments with dedicated individuals that assist me in achieving this objective; these departments are:

  • Budget
  • Business Intelligence
  • Financial Services
  • Grants and Development
  • Payroll and Benefits
  • Procurement Services
  • Risk Management

We have some key upcoming projects, including the implementation of semi-monthly payroll for all employees. The go-live date is July 1, 2024, with all employees receiving their first semi-monthly check on July 15, 2024. Resources are available on the district’s website at Payroll / Semi Monthly Transition Information (fwisd.org). We hope to make this transition as smooth as possible!

Another important project from the Business Intelligence Department is the consideration of a new ERPT (“Enterprise Resources Planning and Timekeeping”) that will pave the way for technological improvements in our finance and human resources systems. We are in the process of reviewing potential solutions and hope to have a final selection soon.

I look forward to working with our superintendent, staff, and the Board of Trustees as we continue to meet budget challenges head-on, striving to serve our students first and foremost!

MONDAY

An ERPT vendor demonstration marks the start of my week. As noted earlier, we are in the process of vendor/product selection to determine which solution is in the best interest of all the departments affected. The last time the district embarked on this process was more than 14 years ago. The afternoon includes the weekly meetings with Cabinet.

TUESDAY

Today, the District’s Comptroller and I travel to Dallas to participate in the pricing of the District’s $300 million bond issuance. This marks the third tranche of the $1.2 billion 2021 Bond Program, having issued $450,000,000 previously. Heading into the market with a AAA/Aa1 (enhanced/unenhanced) rating from Moody’s places the district in a good position to receive favorable treatment in the market. We will be watching it live as investors line up to buy the district’s bonds. I will return in the late afternoon for a Board Facilities Committee meeting.

WEDNESDAY - FRIDAY

The middle of year State of the Schools presentations to review results will be held Wednesday through Friday of this week. The State of the Schools presentations are coordinated by the Learning and Leading Division and engage principals, division staff, and other central officer support staff to review data for schools. Looking forward to the collaboration among all stakeholders!

SUPPORT THE TCU WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM

One FWISD team, are you interested in cheering on the TCU women’s basketball team Feb. 13? We've got 50 tickets available for the game against West Virginia, thanks to Dr. Ramsey’s generosity. You can pick up your ticket beginning at noon from the Welcome Center in the District Service Center, located at 7060 Camp Bowie Blvd. Tickets are limited to one per employee and will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis. Come grab yours and support the Frogs!

"I've found that if ultimately, if you truly pour your heart into what you believe in, even if it makes you vulnerable, amazing things can and will happen." ~ Emma Watson

Respectfully,

Carmen Arrieta-Candelaria

Chief Financial Officer

Fort Worth Independent School District