Preliminary 2020-2021 Charter FIRST Ratings

Date:   August 6, 2021          
Subject: Preliminary 2020–2021 Charter FIRST Ratings
Category: Accreditation Information
Next Steps:   Share with appropriate staff


Your charter school’s preliminary 2020–2021 Charter Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) rating is now available online. To access your charter school’s Charter FIRST rating: 


Basis for Charter FIRST Rating 

Your charter school’s rating is based on an analysis of the charter school’s financial data for fiscal year 2020 (the fiscal period ended June 30, 2020, or August 31, 2020, depending on the ending date of your charter school’s fiscal year). We determined your charter school’s rating using the financial indicators specified in 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §109.1001(f)(5) or 19 TAC §109.1001(g)(2), depending upon the type of charter school operated. 

Please carefully review your charter school’s preliminary Charter FIRST rating and the data associated with each of the 21 indicators. 


Opportunity for Appeal 

If your charter school wishes to appeal an adverse issue it identifies in the preliminary rating, your charter school may submit a written appeal with supporting evidence to the TEA Financial Compliance Division. For the appeal to be considered, it must be received by September 8, 2021. Send your appeal and supporting documentation to the following email address:

Please note, all appeal requests, including supporting documentation, must be submitted via email to on or before September 8, 2021. Appeals and supporting documentation that are not submitted to the Financial Accountability email address by the required deadline will not be considered or processed.

Please see 19 TAC §109.1001(n) for the rules regarding the filing of an appeal. As stated in that section, only an appeal that would result in a change to your charter school’s rating will be considered. If no appeal is submitted by your charter school, your charter school's preliminary rating becomes final on the 31st day after the preliminary ratings are released (September 9, 2021). 


Final Charter FIRST Rating and Required Reporting

Final ratings will be issued to charter schools after all of the appeals submitted by the deadline have been reviewed. Final 2020–2021 Charter FIRST ratings are anticipated to be released in November 2021.  

Within two months of the release of your charter school's final Charter FIRST rating, your charter school must announce and hold a public meeting to distribute a financial management report that explains the charter school’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(q)(3). We encourage your charter school to include in the report additional information that will be beneficial to stakeholders, especially information explaining any special circumstances that may have affected the charter school’s performance under one or more of the indicators. 

A required newspaper notice, to inform taxpayers of the meeting, must be published no more than 30 days and no fewer than 10 days before the public meeting. Your charter school may combine the meeting with a regularly scheduled meeting of your charter school’s governing board. 

For full requirements related to the financial management report and public meeting, see 19 TAC §109.1001(q). For a template that your charter school can use in developing its financial management report, see the TEA Charter FIRST web page. 

To access additional rules concerning financial accountability ratings, please see 19 TAC §109.1001.


Accreditation Status 

Please note that the TEA considers a charter school’s Charter FIRST rating when assigning an accreditation status, as required by the accreditation status rules in 19 TAC §97.1055


Contact for Further Information 

If you have questions about your charter school’s Charter FIRST rating, please contact Robin Aldridge at (512) 463-3940 or by email at