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District Receives Highest Fiscal Rating for Two Decades

Denton ISD received a rating of “A” for “Superior Achievement” under Texas’ School FIRST financial accountability rating system, the district’s 20th time to earn the honor.

The “Superior Achievement” rating is the state’s highest, demonstrating the quality of Denton ISD’s financial management and reporting system. School FIRST (Financial Accountability Rating System of Texas) is the 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. It was amended under House Bill 5, 83rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session, in 2013.

The primary goal of School FIRST is to achieve quality performance in the management of the school district's financial resources, a goal made more significant due to the complexity of accounting associated with the Texas school finance system.

FIRST ratings are in place to hold districts accountable for the quality of their financial management practices, to provide a maximum allocation for direct instructional purposes, and to evaluate the quality of the district’s financial management decisions. There are 20 financial indicators used to calculate FIRST ratings. Examples of those indicators are sufficient days of cash on hand, general fund revenues exceeding general fund expenditures, debt service coverage ratio, and administrative cost ratio.

All school districts and charter schools in the state of Texas are required to report information and financial accountability ratings to parents and taxpayers, although the criteria charter schools must meet are less comprehensive and transparent.

The Texas Education Agency assigns one of four financial accountability ratings to school districts, with the highest being “A” for “Superior Achievement,” followed by “B” for “Above-Standard Achievement,” “C” for “Standard Achievement” and “F” for “Substandard Achievement.”

For the twentieth year in a row, Denton ISD continues its financial excellence with a “Superior Achievement” rating for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, scoring positive responses on all 20 of the indicators and an overall score of 98 out of 100.

”It’s an absolute joy to get this reporting year after year and it’s a tribute to the district and to our community for the financial responsibility that it represents,” said Trustee Dr. Jim Alexander. “This is important work by our business office. If we didn’t get this right we wouldn’t be in a position to get many others things that we do in this district right.