School District Financial Risk Analysis

District results

Isaac Elementary School District—Among the highest-risk districts

General information
County Maricopa County
Operational peer group (FY 2021) 9
Legislative district(s) 26
School information FY 2021 FY 2022
Students attending 4,962 4,836
Number of schools 10 10

Summary of risks identified

Isaac Elementary School District is among the highest-risk districts for the third year in a row due to its change in weighted student count (WSC), operating budget limit reserve, General Fund operating reserve ratio, General Fund change in fund balance, and frozen tax rate, as shown on the measure cards below.

The District's WSC has declined 23.3 percent since fiscal year (FY) 2019 with a 4.9 percent decrease in FY 2023, to date, impacting its student-count-generated revenues and budget limits. The District's primary property tax rate has been frozen every year since FY 2017 except for FY 2020 due in part to levying for desegregation spending, limiting its available property tax revenue. The District continued to keep its General Fund spending within available revenues (i.e., positive operating margin) in FY 2022, as it has since at least FY 2019. However, its spending reductions were still not enough to fully compensate for prior years' negative operating margins, as the District reported a FY 2022 $3.8 million deficit General Fund balance, an improvement from its FY 2019 $8.3 million deficit balance. By using lines of credit and other borrowing methods to accommodate spending with its cash deficit, the District incurred nearly $143,000 in FY 2021 borrowing costs. While the District describes in its response that it continues to issue debt to provide cash flow for continuing operations, we were not able to identify its FY 2022 borrowing costs as the District did not record or incorrectly classified those borrowing costs in its FY 2022 annual financial report. Although the District's FY 2022 operating budget limit reserve grew to over $1 million, it remains entirely unfunded. The District reported using more than $10.5 million from COVID-19 federal relief monies to maintain its operations in FYs 2020, 2021, and 2022. The District further reported it plans to spend 35 percent, or $11.8 million, of its remaining relief monies to maintain operations. As these are one-time monies, to avoid future financial risk and to ensure it will be able to spend within its available cash resources and budget capacity when these relief monies are no longer available to spend after September 30, 2024, the District should plan how it will adjust its spending in areas where its remaining monies are used, including the before and after school program and small class sizes described in the District's response below. While the District has made progress in addressing its identified risk areas, it is still among the highest-risk districts for the reasons we identified above. We can't confirm that its improvements represent an overall positive trend as described in its response based on too few data points and external factors that will affect the District's future outcomes.

District response

The data shown on the financial risk analysis shows an overall positive trend in the District's financial data, with the exception of the change in weighted student count. The general fund balance has increased by more than $4 million dollars. The operating and capital budget limit reserves have increased by $800 and $900 thousand dollars.

To address the change in student count, the district is using ESSER grants to provide the funding for a Community Engagement and Marketing Director. By promoting the small class sizes and 6am to 6pm, Before and After School Program (free for all students), offered at all sites, the district hopes to attract additional students.

The annual expenditures will continue to be adjusted to operate within the student-count-generated budget limit and maintain a budget reserve. The district will continue to work with the county schools office and maintain the frozen tax rate to generate additional revenue and reduce the cash deficit. Additional funding will be secured through Tax Anticipation Notes to ensure adequate cash flow throughout the year.

Analysis and data

Additional information about each measure, including how each measure was calculated and how districts were identified as High Risk for each measure, is available on the Measures page.

Change in weighted student count

High risk
-4.9% -23.3%
(1-year change) (4-year change)
Fiscal year Group A WSC
2023 5,336
2022 5,609
2021 5,756
2020 6,513
2019 6,961

Operating budget limit reserve

High risk
100.0% 100.0%
(1-year change) (4-year change)
Fiscal year Balance
2022 $1,074,254
2021 $433,289
2020 $233,626
2019 $242,755
2018 $245,229

Capital budget limit reserve

100.0% 100.0%
(1-year change) (4-year change)
Fiscal year Balance
2022 $920,074
2021 $295,404
2020 $5,375
2019 $55,470
2018 $488

General fund operating reserve ratio

High risk
-9.6% -5.2%
FY 2022 unaudited FY 2021 audited
Fiscal year Balance Expenditures
FY 2022 unaudited ($3,815,092) $39,814,757
FY 2021 audited ($2,089,675) $39,908,569

General fund operating margin ratio

0.7% 4.8%
FY 2022 unaudited FY 2021 audited
Fiscal year Revenue Expenditures
FY 2022 unaudited $40,076,169 $39,814,757
FY 2021 audited $41,910,294 $39,908,569

General fund change in fund balance

High risk
21.5% 55.7%
FY 2021 to 2022 unaudited FY 2020 to 2021 audited
Fiscal year Change amount
FY 2021 to 2022 unaudited $1,047,341
FY 2020 to 2021 audited $2,631,965

Capital monies redirected to operations

18.3% 14.3%
(FY 2023) (5-year average)
Fiscal Year Capital monies Amount redirected
2023 $2,179,996 $400,000
2022 $2,235,936 $400,000
2021 $2,122,650 $400,000
2020 $1,831,729 $300,000
2019 $1,024,054 $0

Small school budget limit adjustment

N/A - District is too large to be eligible for adjustment.

Fiscal year Adjustment
2023 $0
2022 $0
2021 $0
2020 $0
2019 $0

Frozen tax rate

High risk

District's primary property tax rate has been frozen since FY 2021.


District is not in receivership.