Dallas ISD earns state’s highest fiscal accountability rating

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Dallas ISD officials announced this week that the district earned the maximum score of 30 and a rating of “Pass” under the state’s school financial accountability rating system known as the School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) for 2014-2015.

A Pass rating, which is the state’s highest possible rating for 2014-2015, demonstrates the high quality of Dallas ISD’s financial management and reporting, district officials said.

This is the 13th year of School FIRST, which is 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 School 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.

“We are very pleased with Dallas ISD’s School FIRST rating, as it shows that our district is being responsible with our taxpayers’ dollars,” Dallas ISD Interim Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa said. “This rating shows that Dallas ISD schools are accountable not only for student learning, but also for achieving these results in a financially responsible manner.”

TEA converted School FIRST to a two-rating system of either “Pass” or “Substandard Achievement” for 2014-2015. Dallas ISD achieved the top rating of Superior Achievement for 2013-2014 and the two years prior to that. During those years, the School FIRST accountability rating system assigned 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.”

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