The Austin Chronicle

Larry Goes to Dallas

By Richard Whittaker, November 21, 2008, 2:02pm, Newsdesk

You may not know Larry Throm's name, but he's been the financial guru keeping Austin ISD solvent. Now he's off to do the same for Dallas ISD as their new executive chief financial officer.

In a quick chat this morning, Throm said he'd been paid the big compliment of being head-hunted by Dallas ISD, who've been having some (ahem) financial problems recently, what with a $64 million budget shortfall. It's a big job, but Throm believes that he can fix the processes that lead to the economic disasters up there.

Coming in soon after AISD hired Superintendent Pat Forgione nine years ago, they've been a quite remarkable pairing, somehow buffering the district against some of the worst assaults on public school funding in state history. Forgione had hoped that there would be a great degree of continuity to AISD's officers when he steps down in June, but Throm is possibly the biggest loss concievable. One of the reasons Forgione is one of the longest-serving urban superintendents is the district's high bond ratings (Aa1 from Moody’s Investors Service; A-1+ from Standard & Poor’s; and AA from Fitch Ratings), and a lot of that can be traced back to Throm's management.

He'll be heading up to Dallas in January: Newsdesk wishes him all the best.

Full press release after the break.

Chief Financial Officer Larry Throm to Leave Austin ISD for Dallas

November 20, 2008: Austin School officials announced today that Chief Financial Officer Larry Throm will resign his position in mid-December to become the Executive Chief Financial Officer for the Dallas School District. Dallas Superintendent Michael Hinojosa announced the appointment late today, and the Dallas School Board was scheduled to approve Mr. Throm’s salary at tonight’s meeting. Mr. Throm’s last day in Austin will be Friday, December 19.

“It is with some sadness that I am leaving many loyal and dedicated employees of the Austin School District, and any success that I have achieved here can be attributed directly to their hard work and expertise. Dallas ISD presents a unique set of challenges, and I am excited to have the opportunity to help meet, and address, them,” Mr. Throm said.

“Larry Throm is widely recognized as the finest school finance officer in Texas today,” Superintendent Pat Forgione said. “He joined me in Austin, just months after I arrived in 1999, and he has helped navigate this School District through some very difficult financial times. The strong financial stability of the Austin School District today is due in large part to Larry Throm’s expertise.”

Under Mr. Throm’s management, Austin ISD received a Superior Achievement rating for fiscal year 2006-2007, according to the Financial Rating System of Texas. In addition, AISD has earned a debt rating of Aa1 from Moody’s Investors Service; A-1+ from Standard & Poor’s; and AA from Fitch Ratings. These are among the highest ratings available to Texas public schools.

Austin ISD was also one of 16 school districts in Texas to be awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award by the Government Finance Officers Association.

Prior to joining Austin ISD, Mr. Throm served as finance officer/budget director in both the Lubbock and Victoria school districts.

Dr. Forgione and President Williams said the search is already underway to identify an interim Chief Financial Officer until Mr. Throm’s successor is hired.

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