June 18, 2014
To the Administrator
Notification of 2014 Preliminary School FIRST Rating
school district’s preliminary 2014 School Financial Integrity Rating System of
Texas (FIRST) rating is now available in the online School FIRST system. To
access the School FIRST system:
in to the Texas Education Agency Login (TEAL) at https://pryor.tea.state.tx.us/,
the link for your TEA Secure Environment (TEASE) user account, and
the School FIRST link.
for School FIRST Rating
district’s rating is based on an analysis of the district’s financial data for
fiscal year 2013 (the fiscal period ended June 30, 2013, or August 31, 2013,
depending on the ending date of your district’s fiscal year). We determined
your district’s rating using the financial indicators specified in 19 Texas
Administrative Code (TAC) §109.1002(f).
carefully review your district’s preliminary School FIRST rating and the data
associated with each of the 20 indicators.
your district believes that its rating was based on a data error solely
attributable to our review of the data for any of the 20 indicators, your district
may submit a written appeal with supporting evidence to the Financial
Accountability Division. For the appeal to be considered, we must receive it by July 21, 2014. Send any appeal to
the following address:
Texas Education Agency
Financial Accountability Division
1701 North Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701
made by your district in recording data or submitting data through the Public
Education Information Management System (PEIMS) do not constitute a valid basis for appeal.
Please see 19 TAC §109.1002(i) for the rules regarding the filing of an appeal. As stated in that
section, we will consider only an appeal that would result in a change to your
School FIRST Rating and Required Reporting
will issue final ratings to school districts after we have reviewed any
submitted appeals. The anticipated release date for final 2014 School FIRST
ratings is September 5, 2014.
two months of the release of its final School FIRST rating, your school
district must announce and hold a public meeting to distribute a financial
management report that explains the district’s rating and its performance under
each of the 20 indicators for the current and prior fiscal years. The report
also must provide the financial information described in 19 TAC §109.1005(b)(2). We encourage your
district to include in the report additional information that will be
beneficial to taxpayers, especially information explaining any special
circumstances that may have affected the district’s performance under one or
more of the indicators.
first of two required newspaper notices to inform taxpayers of the meeting must
be published no more than 30 days and no fewer than 14 days before the public
meeting. Your district may combine the meeting with a scheduled regular meeting
of the board of trustees.
full requirements related to the report and meeting, see 19 TAC §109.1005. For a template that
your district can use in developing its financial management report, see the
TEA FIRST web page.
Status and Special Education Determination Status
note that the TEA considers a school district’s School FIRST rating when
assigning an accreditation status, as required by the accreditation status
rules in 19 TAC §97.1055.
your district’s final School FIRST rating may impact its special education
determination status as issued by the TEA under the requirements of the
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and 34 Code of Federal Regulations,
for Further Information
you have questions about your district’s School FIRST rating, please contact me
by telephone at (512) 475-3451 or by email at Belinda.Dyer@tea.texas.gov.
of Financial Accountability
of School Finance
cc: Education Service Center Executive
Ph.D., Associate Commissioner, School Finance/
Chief School Finance Officer, TEA
Nora Ibáñez Hancock,
Ed.D., Associate Commissioner,
Office for Grants and Federal Fiscal Compliance, TEA
Department of Accreditation and School Improvement, TEA