WACO, TX- School Financial Accountability Rating System of Texas (FIRST) was first developed as the financial accountability system for Texas school districts by the Texas Education Agency in response to Senate Bill 875 of the 76th Texas Legislature in 1999. The purpose of the financial accountability rating system is to ensure that school districts will be held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and achieve improved performance in the management of their financial resources. The system is designed to encourage Texas public schools to manage their financial resources better in order to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes. The system also discloses the quality of local management and decision-making processes that impact the allocation of financial resources in Texas public schools.
In accordance with Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 39, Subchapter D, each school district must be assigned a financial accountability rating by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). On August 4, 2022, the Texas Education Agency posted the district’s preliminary School FIRST rating online. The ratings are based upon an analysis of data reported for the 2020- 2021 fiscal year. The District passed all critical indicators and received a score of 98 out of a possible 100 points for the other indicators, losing two points on indicator 13, the district’s administrative cost ratio. The rating system has been in existence for 20 years with Waco ISD having scored A Superior Rating 19 of 20 years.
“For Waco ISD, receiving superior ratings from TEA on School FIRST is the expectation” said Dr. Susan Kincannon, WISD Superintendent. “It’s just one example of the importance we place on being good stewards of the funds that taxpayers have entrusted to us,” said Kincannon.
Visit the TEA website at https://tea.texas.gov/finance-and-grants/financial-accountability/financial-integrity-rating-system-of-texas-first/financial-integrity-rating-system-of-texas to learn more.