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Contact: Ann Hatch

For immediate release — Dec. 4, 2013

(DALLAS) — Effective, efficient business practices by the Dallas County Community College District have earned top ratings from private and public financial organizations recently.

Fitch Ratings affirmed in November that DCCCD’s revenue debt is “AA” with a stable outlook; the district’s general obligation debt already is rated “AAA.” Fitch said, “The ‘AA’ rating primarily reflects prudent financial management practices and diverse revenue base, which supports generally positive GAAP-based operating results; a good financial cushion to offset budgetary pressures; and a manageable debt burden. Counterbalancing factors include high exposure to state and federal funding, and enrollment trends — similar to many other community colleges — that tend to run countercyclical to economic conditions.”

The organization added, “Prudent financial management practices continue to support DCCCD’s credit profile … and the district has a solid market position.”

Both Standard & Poors and Moody’s Investors Services gave DCCCD a “AAA” general obligation debt rating earlier this year.

Ed DesPlas, the district’s executive vice chancellor for business affairs, said, “DCCCD is fortunate to have strong leadership on, and support from, its board of trustees. Maintaining high credit ratings, clean audits and transparent financial operations is what they expect of us.”

Additionally, the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada notified the district’s office of business affairs that DCCCD’s comprehensive annual financial report for FY 2012 (the most recent year reviewed) has qualified for a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the organization. The certificate is the highest form of recognition given in the area of governmental accounting and finance reporting, and earning this honor represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management — in this case, DCCCD and its office of business affairs.

“This is the first time that DCCCD has received this recognition, and it should not be the last time,” said DesPlas. “In general, Texas community colleges are becoming a growing faction in this certification process. In FY 2011, for example, 16 of our state’s community colleges earned this honor, and we are proud to join the ranks of those whose financial reporting practices have been deemed as excellent by the GFOA.”

The GFOA is a nonprofit professional organization that serves approximately 17,500 government finance professionals; offices are located in Chicago and Washington, D.C.

For more information, contact DesPlas at (972) 860-7752.

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