At the regular monthly Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, McKinney ISD officials announced that the district received a rating of “Superior Achievement” under Texas’ Schools FIRST (Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas) financial accountability rating system.
The Superior Achievement rating is the state’s highest, demonstrating the quality of McKinney ISD’s financial management and reporting system. This marks the 11th consecutive year McKinney has earned the Schools FIRST Superior Achievement rating and the 10th time during that period that the District has earned a perfect score.
This honor is one of several that the District has received for outstanding financial accountability including the Comptroller’s Gold Leadership Circle Award for Transparency and a 4.5 (out of 5) star rating, one of the highest in the state, on the Comptroller’s FAST (Financial Allocation Study for Texas) report which evaluates school spending and student progress.
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. McKinney ISD has received the highest rating every year since the rating system began.
“We are always excited to receive a Superior rating on the FIRST document,” said Dr. Edd Bigbee, McKinney ISD Chief Financial Officer, “but we are happier that it indicates a continuing dedication to fiscal transparency and responsibility.”
Ratings are determined by an examination of a school district’s performance in 20 financial areas that include items such as fund balance, the annual financial report, student to teacher ratios and administrative cost ratios.
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.” Districts with serious data quality problems may receive the additional rating of “Suspended — Data Quality.”
“We are very pleased with McKinney ISD’s Schools FIRST rating,” said McKinney ISD Superintendent Dr. J.D. Kennedy, “as it shows that our district is making the most of our taxpayers’ dollars. This rating shows that McKinney’s schools are accountable not only for student learning, but also for achieving these results cost-effectively and efficiently.”
Story submitted by Shane Maudlin, MISD