October 24, 2016
To the Administrator Addressed:
Subject: 2015 - 2016 Final FIRST Ratings
Final 2015–2016 Financial Integrity
Rating System of Texas (FIRST) ratings based on fiscal year 2015 are now
publicly available. You can find ratings for both school districts and open-enrollment
charter schools on the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website:
“To the Administrator Addressed” letter dated August 8, 2016, instructed your
school district or charter school (local education agency [LEA]) to view its preliminary FIRST rating. The letter
also provided information about the data the TEA analyzes to produce the rating
and described the appeals process available to your LEA. This appeals process
is now complete, and all FIRST ratings are final.
months of the release of its final FIRST rating, your LEA must announce and
hold a public meeting to distribute a financial management report that explains
the LEA’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 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §109.1001(o)(3).
We encourage your LEA to include in the report additional information that will
be beneficial to stakeholders, especially information explaining any special
circumstances that may have affected the LEA’s performance under one or more of
The first of
two required newspaper notices to inform stakeholders of the meeting must be
published no more than 30 days and no fewer than 14 days before the public
meeting. Your LEA may combine the meeting with a scheduled regular meeting of
its governing board.
For full requirements related to
the report and meeting, see 19 TAC §109.1001(o).
For a template that your LEA can use in developing its financial management
report, see the TEA FIRST
web page or FIRST
Rating for Charter Schools web page.
Please note that the TEA considers an LEA’s FIRST rating when assigning
an accreditation status, as required by the accreditation status rules in 19
Contact for Further Information
If you have questions about your
LEA’s FIRST rating, please contact Yolanda Walker by telephone at (512)
463-0947 or by email at Yolanda.Walker@tea.texas.gov.