WACO, Texas (FOX 44) – The Waco Independent School District has earned a superior achievement rating on the School Financial Accountability Rating System of Texas (FIRST).

The district said in a press release on Tuesday afternoon that FIRST was developed as the financial accountability system for Texas school districts by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in response to Senate Bill 875 of the 76th Texas Legislature in 1999. The purpose of this system is to ensure that school districts will be held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and achieve improved performance in the management of their financial resources.

According to Waco ISD, the system is designed to encourage Texas public schools to manage their financial resources better in order to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes. The system also discloses the quality of local management and decision-making processes which impact the allocation of financial resources in Texas public schools.

In accordance with the Texas Education Code (TEC), each school district must be assigned a financial accountability rating by the TEA. On August 4, the TEA posted the district’s preliminary School FIRST rating online. The ratings are based upon an analysis of data reported for the 2020- 2021 fiscal year.

The district passed all critical indicators and received a score of 98 out of a possible 100 points for the other indicators – losing two points on indicator 13, the district’s administrative cost ratio. The rating system has been in existence for 20 years, with Waco ISD having scored a Superior Rating in 19 out of 20 years.

For more information, you can visit the TEA website.