Dave Rogers-For the Record

Little Cypress-Mauriceville Consolidated school district officially received its 14th straight top award from the state’s school financial accountability rating system during this month’s monthly school board meeting.

But the score of 90 from the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) was accompanied by a warning from Greg Perry, LC-M’s assistant superintendent.

Perry pointed out that the district’s only deductions from a perfect 100 score came in areas concerning the ratio of long-term liabilities to total assets and the district debt service coverage, calculations having to do with construction debt the district took on to pay for all the renovations and new building going on in the schools.

Perry had opened his part of the meeting by noting a $1.3 million deficit in the final general fund accounting for the just completed 2016 budget year.

The deficit, which was covered by the district’s fund balance, was created by transferring money from daily operating funds to pay for construction not covered by the district’s $56 million 2013 bond issue.

Perry said the amount and structuring of the construction debt might make it hard for the district to score as high on FIRST next year, when it’s predicted a 90 will be the minimum needed to earn a Superior score.

“We’re used to being at that top score,” he said. “But we may not be there next year because we still have more debt to sell. We still have another $2 million of the bonds we have to sell this year.

“If we lose one more point, then we’re going to drop down to the B level.”

The meeting began with a procession of recognitions.

High school principal Todd Loupe saluted seniors Matthew Cox and Thomas King, who were recognized as Commended by the National Merit Scholarship Program.

It’s an honor achieved by only 5 percent (1,700) of the 34,000 nationally who took the PSAT test, Loupe said.

Superintendent Pauline Hargrove recognized local businesses and organizations that are supporters of LCM CISD. They were saluted for their contributions by the “Stand Up for Texas Public Schools” program through the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB).

Those recognized included: Brian’s Mobile Service, Daily Green Family Health, Dental One, Dollar General, Domino’s, First Baptist Church of Mauriceville, First Methodist Church of Mauriceville, Green and Dileo Dentistry, Industrial Power and Rubber Inc., International Paper, ITW Mueller Plastics/Film, and K&S Outdoor Power Inc.

Others recognized are: Kiwanis Club of Orange, LCM Transportation, Little Flock Christian Daycare and Preschool, Little Giant donated playground equipment, Romano’s Restaurant, Rotary Club of Orange, Sabine River Ford, Southeast Texas Food Bank, St. Maurice Catholic Church, Terminal Services, Inc., The Hut, and The Jumping Bean.

The school board, operating under the leadership of vice president Marlene Cormier with president Tammy Rountree and board member Alfred Milstead absent, also approved the 2017 Textbook Committee.

Members selected included: Cammie Palmer, Elga Sepulveda, Jackeline Vidal, Sandra Warren, Ginger Bourque, J.P. Davis, Rebecca Dyer, Babs Foster, Jerri Snyder, Stacey Brister, Kristy Brown and Todd Loupe.

Hargrove reported the district’s attendance stood at 3,433 as of Monday.