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