TEA News Releases Online
Sept. 20, 2011
FSP system receives Digital Achievement Award
AUSTIN -A redesigned Foundation School Program system that saves the state time and money recently earned the 2011 Digital Achievement Award from e.Republic’s Center for Digital Education and Converge Magazine.
The system was recognized in the category of department of education digital application/project.
In June, this revamped system also won a Best of Texas award as the “best application serving an agency’s business needs” at the Government Technology Conference (GTC).
The new FSP system required the integration of 18 subsystems used to distribute $20 billion annually to school districts and charter schools. The new user-friendly system ensures data integrity and saves nearly 1,100 staff hours per year for the payment processing system alone.
The awards recognize the leadership of FSP Project Manager Connie Fannon and Lisa Dawn-Fisher, chief school finance officer. The project required daily collaboration between the school finance and IT staff in order to develop an easy-to-use modern system that could handle the heavy and constant workload.
The FSP system collects data from a half dozen other systems and agencies, as well as more than 1,200 public school districts and charter schools. Much of this information is used to calculate individual payments to districts under a variety of state funding formulas. Before the revamp, the State Funding Division performed its many financial calculations and transactions through a variety of systems and manual processes. This included the use of a 30-year-old mainframe system that performed most of the back-end data file processing, while school districts reported data through web modules and paper documents.
The new system, which went into operation in the summer of 2010, improved State Funding’s day-to-day operations with streamlined data entry, validations, data integration and a consistent system-wide review and approval process.
The improved FSP system has reduced the processing time for monthly payments to school districts by more than 95 percent. This one aspect of the program alone saves $70,000 a year.
The agency also saved more than $200,000 a year on maintenance costs, a 46 percent savings, with the use of an up-to-date integrated system.
The project is currently featured in an article on the Converge website.
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