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TEA News Releases Online Sept. 5, 2014

AUSTIN – The Texas Education Agency (TEA) today released financial accountability ratings for more than 1,200 school districts and charters across the state. The 2013-2014 ratings are based on annual financial reports provided to TEA by districts and charters from the 2012-2013 school year.

Created by the 77th Texas Legislature in 2001, the financial accountability rating system – known as the School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) – is designed to encourage public schools to better manage their financial resources in order to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes.

 The financial accountability system requires TEA to review the audited financial reports from all districts and charters. Based on the submitted information, one of four financial management ratings is assigned: Superior, Above Standard, Standard or Substandard. A designation of Suspended Data Quality or Undetermined can also be assigned when a district or charter fails to submit its annual financial report by the submission deadline and/or no financial data is available for review.

The FIRST ratings are based on 20 established financial indicators, such as operating expenditures for instruction, tax collection rates, student-teacher ratios, and long-term debt. For 2013-2014, approximately 95 percent of Texas school districts passed with a FIRST rating of Standard or above.

 

2013-2014 RATING

DISTRICTS

%

CHARTERS

%

Superior

912

88.98%

76

37.13%

Above Standard

83

8.10%

53

26.24%

Standard

16

1.56%

31

15.35%

Substandard

12

1.17%

40

20.30%

Suspended Data Quality

2

0.20%

2

0.99%

TOTAL

1025

100.0%

202

100.0%

 

All school districts and charters are required to report information and financial accountability ratings to parents and taxpayers. In addition, school districts and charters must hold a public discussion or hearing regarding its financial report.

To review FIRST ratings for all districts and charters (plus FIRST ratings from previous years), visit https://tea4avwaylon.tea.state.tx.us/First/forms/main.aspx.  

 

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