This is the seventh year of Schools FIRST (Financial Accountability Rating System of Texas), a financial accountability system for Texas school districts developed by the Texas Education Agency in response to Senate Bill 875 of the 76th Texas Legislature in 1999. The primary goal of Schools FIRST is to achieve quality performance in the management of school districts’ financial resources, a goal made more significant due to the complexity of accounting associated with Texas’ school finance system.
“The Schools FIRST accountability rating ensures that Texas school districts are accountable not only for student learning, but also for achieving these results cost-effectively and efficiently,” said Beeville ISD Superintendent Dr. John Hardwick. “The information provided by the Schools FIRST system will guide us in our continued efforts to maximize each taxpayer dollar.”
The Schools FIRST accountability rating system assigns one of four financial accountability ratings to Texas school districts, with the highest being “Superior Achievement,” followed by “Above-Standard Achievement,” “Standard Achievement” and Substandard Achievement.” Districts with serious data quality problems may receive the additional rating of “Suspended-Data Quality.” Districts that receive the “Substandard Achievement” or “Suspended-Data Quality” ratings under Schools FIRST must file a corrective action plan with the Texas Education Agency.