2013 Final FIRST Ratings
September 13, 2013
To The Administrator
Subject: 2013 Final FIRST Ratings
The purpose of this letter is to inform you
that the final Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) ratings for
2013 are now publicly available. The ratings for both school districts and open-enrollment charter
schools can be viewed on the Texas Education Agency (TEA)
A previous “To The Administrator
Addressed” letter, dated June 24, 2013, instructed local educational agencies
(LEAs), school districts and open-enrollment charter schools, to view their
preliminary FIRST ratings, and provided details regarding the analysis of
financial, staff and student data used by TEA to create the ratings. The letter also
described the appeals process available to LEAs. This appeals process is now complete
and all FIRST ratings are final.
In order to comply with the requirements given
in Title 19 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC),
§109.1005, all LEAs are required to report information
and financial accountability ratings to parents and taxpayers by implementing specific
reporting procedures, including the following:
- Within two months after receipt of its
final FIRST rating, each 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 of the indicators used in TEA’s analysis for the current year and
each of the indicators used in TEA’s analysis for the prior year.
- The LEA must inform taxpayers of this
public meeting by publishing two newspaper notices, the first of which may not be
published more than 30 days prior to or less than 14 days prior to the public
This public meeting may be combined with a
scheduled regular meeting of the LEA’s governing board.
The financial management report must include
specific information described in 19 TAC §109.1005. To help LEAs prepare the
report, TEA has created a template for the report that LEAs can follow. A template
for school districts and a template
for charter schools are both available online. In addition
to the required information, LEAs are encouraged to provide additional information in
the report that will be beneficial to taxpayers, especially information that can
explain any special circumstances that may have affected the LEA’s FIRST
At the public meeting, the LEA should review
the information that must be included in the financial management report.
LEAs should review all of the requirements given in 19 TAC §109.1005 for additional information.
Please note that as part of the financial
management report, each LEA must provide a summary of the data that was previously
submitted to TEA for purposes related to financial solvency. This data is required
under the financial solvency
provisions of Texas Education Code
In accordance with the accreditation status
rules given in 19 TAC §97.1055, TEA will take into
consideration an LEA’s FIRST rating when assigning an accreditation
Contact for Further
If you have questions about your LEA’s
FIRST rating, please contact me by telephone at (512) 475-3451 or by email at Belinda.Dyer@tea.state.tx.us.
Director of Financial Accountability
Office of School Finance
Page last modified on 9/13/2013 10:45:21 AM.