TEMPLE, Texas — The Temple Independent School District has been notified that it will receive a Superior financial accountability rating from the Texas Education Agency (TEA). This year’s rating reflects the district’s financial conduct and reporting during the 2019-2020 school year.
The TEA’s Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) uses 20 indicators to measure a district’s compliance with auditing regulations and numerous state-determined thresholds of financial health. The annual ratings require tremendous effort on the part of both the district and the state to ensure that each school system is being a good steward of funds. The TISD board of trustees received a report of the latest FIRST rating during the board’s meeting on Monday (October 11).
“Taxpayers expect Temple ISD to be good stewards of their tax dollars,” said Kallen Vaden, chief financial officer for TISD. “Our staff works year-round to meet those expectations. The FIRST Superior Achievement rating validates that not only are we providing our students with a great education; we are doing so in a financially efficient and prudent manner.”
TISD’s superior rating is based on the district’s performance on those 20 financial measures. Nine of the financial indicators are graded on a pass/fail basis with TISD passing all nine of those measures. The other 11 indicators are scored on either a five-point or ten-point scale and TISD received 90 out of a possible 100 points on those measures. A superior rating is the highest possible rating for a school district.
“It is our responsibility to be diligent stewards of taxpayer dollars. This is an appropriate and reasonable expectation from our citizens and families,” said Dr. Bobby Ott, superintendent of Temple schools. “We are grateful for the designation of a “Superior” financial accountability rating awarded by the Texas Education Agency. This rating validates TISD’s deliberate efforts around transparency, efficiency and financial accounting best practices. Temple ISD defines sound fiscal management as the ability to carry one of the lowest tax rates in the region, while maintaining high quality educational services. The efficient balance between resources and allocations is something we are constantly reviewing in Temple ISD. This is a theme you will find in high-performing districts across Texas.”
The FIRST system ensures that Texas public schools are held accountable for the quality of their financial practices and that they improve these practices. The system is designed to encourage Texas public schools to better manage their financial resources to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes.