The Joaquin Independent School District is pleased to announce its “Superior Achievement” rating on its 2006 School FIRST financial accountability rating.

This is the forth year for Schools FIRST (Financial Integrity 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.

Significant changes to the FIRST system are will be effective for the FIRST rating released in June 2008. This rating will be based on the 2006-2007 student data and the budget and actual financial data reported for the 2006-2007 school year. The indicators will change as well as the scoring system.

Under the current system, 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.”

The FIRST rating system is comprised of 21 district-level indicators similar to the AEIS (Academic Excellence Indicator System) used to rate academic performance. The FIRST indicators use data submitted in the “Annual Audited Financial Reports” and through the “Public Education Information System (PEIMS)”. The 21 indicators are divided into five categories: Critical Indicators, Fiscal Responsibility, Budgeting, Personnel, Cash Management. Each of the 21 indicators are answered either “yes” or “no” based on the information submitted to TEA for a particular school year. The rating system is as follows:

“Superior Achievement” 0-2 “No” answers
“Above Standard Achievement” 3-4 “No” answers
“Standard Achievement” 5-6 “No” answers
“Substandard Achievement” > 6 “No” answers

Also if a district has a “No” on any of the first three CRITICAL indicators or a “No” on both CRITICAL indicators number four and five, it automatically receives a “substandard “achievement”.

This FIRST report is based on data for the 2004-2005 school year. Of a possible score of 21 yes answers, JOAQUIN ISD has 20 out of 21 possible yes answers for 2004-2005!

The actual FIRST report posted by TEA follows which list each of the 21 indicators and includes the data for Joaquin ISD that TEA used to score each indicator.

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