Preliminary 2022–2023 FIRST Ratings
|Date:||August 7, 2023|
|Subject:||Preliminary 2022–2023 FIRST Ratings|
|Next Steps:||Share with appropriate staff|
Your local educational agency’s (LEA) preliminary 2022–2023 Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) rating is now available online. To access your LEA’s FIRST rating, click the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas link. Then, click the appropriate link as follows:
- School districts must click the School District FIRST Ratings link.
- Charter schools must click the Charter FIRST Ratings link.
Basis for FIRST Rating
Your LEA’s rating is based on an analysis of the LEA’s financial data for fiscal year 2022 (the fiscal period ended June 30, 2022, or August 31, 2022, depending on the ending date of your LEA’s fiscal year). We determined your LEA’s rating using the financial indicators specified in:
- 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §109.1001(e)(7) for school districts; and
- 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §109.1001(f)(7) or 19 TAC §109.1001(g)(2) for charter schools, depending upon the type of charter school operated.
Please carefully review your LEA’s preliminary FIRST rating and the data associated with each of the indicators.
Opportunity for Appeal
If your LEA wishes to appeal an adverse issue it identifies in the preliminary rating, your LEA may submit a written appeal with supporting evidence to the TEA Financial Compliance Division. For the appeal to be considered, we must receive it by September 7, 2023. Send your appeal and supporting documentation to the following email address: FinancialAccountability@tea.texas.gov.
Please note, all appeal requests, including supporting documentation, must be submitted through email to FinancialAccountability@tea.texas.gov on or before September 7, 2023. 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, we will consider only an appeal that would result in a change to your LEA’s rating. If no appeal is submitted by your LEA, your LEA’s preliminary rating becomes final on the 31st day after the preliminary ratings are released (September 8, 2023).
Final FIRST Rating and Required Reporting
We will issue final ratings to school districts and charter schools after we have reviewed any submitted appeals. Final 2022–2023 School FIRST and Charter FIRST ratings are anticipated to be released in November 2023.
Within two months of the release of your LEA’s final School FIRST or Charter 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. If your LEA does not submit an appeal, your LEA may choose to use the date that the rating automatically became final as a basis for the two-month deadline to hold the public hearing.
The report also must provide the financial information described in 19 TAC §109.1001(q)(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 indicators.
The 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 district or charter school may combine the meeting with a scheduled regular meeting of the board of trustees or governing board, respectively.
For full requirements related to the report and meeting, see 19 TAC §109.1001(q). For a template that your LEA can use in developing its financial management report:
- districts should see the TEA School FIRST web page and
- charter schools should see the TEA Charter FIRST web page.
To access additional rules concerning financial accountability ratings, please see 19 TAC §109.1001.
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 TAC §97.1055.
Contact for Further Information
If you have questions about your LEA’s FIRST rating, you may send an email to FinancialAccountability@tea.texas.gov or you may contact:
- Robin Aldridge at (512) 463-3940 or by email at Robin.Aldridge@tea.texas.gov for School FIRST
- Roger Seemion at (512) 936-3712 or by email at Roger.Seemion@tea.texas.gov for Charter FIRST