Important Accreditation Information
August 7, 2015
To the Administrator
Notification of Preliminary 2014-2015 School FIRST Rating
school district’s preliminary 2014-2015 School Financial Integrity Rating
System of Texas (FIRST) rating is now available in the online School FIRST
system. To access the School FIRST system go to the TEA School FIRST webpage.
for School FIRST Rating
district’s rating is based on an analysis of the district’s financial data for
fiscal year 2014 (the fiscal period ended June 30, 2014, or August 31, 2014,
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) §109.1001(e).
carefully review your district’s preliminary School FIRST rating and the data
associated with each of the seven indicators.
your district wants to appeal an adverse issue it identifies in the preliminary
rating, your district may submit a written appeal with supporting evidence to
the Financial Accountability Section. For the appeal to be considered, we must
receive it by September 8, 2015.
Send any appeal to the following address:
Texas Education Agency
Financial Accountability Section
1701 North Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701
financial accountability rating system is required to apply the rules
uniformly. Therefore, an error by a district in recording data or submitting
data through the TEA data collection and reporting system is not a valid basis
for appealing a preliminary rating and unlikely to negate concerns raised by
Please see 19 TAC §109.1001(l) 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 district’s
School FIRST Rating and Required Reporting
will issue final ratings to school districts after we have reviewed any
submitted appeals. Final 2014-2015 School FIRST ratings are anticipated to be
released in October 2015.
two months of the release of its final School FIRST rating, your 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 indicator
for the current and previous year’s ratings. The report also must provide the
financial information described in 19 TAC §109.1001(o)(3). We encourage your district to include in the report
additional information that will be beneficial to stakeholders, 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 §109.1001(o).
For a template that your district can use in developing its financial
management report, see the TEA School FIRST web page.
note that the TEA considers a district’s School FIRST rating when assigning an
accreditation status, as required by the accreditation status rules in 19 TAC §97.1055.
for Further Information
you have questions about your district’s School FIRST rating, please contact me
by telephone at (512) 463-0947 or by email at Yolanda.Walker@tea.texas.gov.
of Financial Accountability
of Financial Compliance