A number of Central Texas school districts received high marks on their financial health from the Texas Education Agency, according to new data released Thursday afternoon.

The agency’s Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas reports for the 2010-2011 school year examines how school systems spend and manage money.

The Killeen Independent School District once again received a “superior achievement” rating. The district, like others in the state, was rated based on 20 criteria including its tax collection rate, financial controls and the results of its annual audit. The Killeen district received the same rating for the 2009-2010 school year, as well as the 2009-2008 school year.

Districts in Copperas Cove, Belton, Gatesville, Lampasas, Salado and Florence also received “superior achievement” FIRST ratings for the 2010-2011 school year.

The agency’s ratings were released one day after the office of State Comptroller Susan Combs released its Financial Allocation Study of Texas. The FAST report measures how spending in public school districts and campuses relates to student academic progress. Districts and campuses are given a better rating when spending is low and achievement or improvement in academics is high.

According to this year’s FAST data, Salado received top marks, earning a five-star rating. The Killeen, Copperas Cove, Belton, Lampasas, Gatesville and Florence districts received three-star ratings.

“We were very proud to hear we received a five-star rating,” said Michael Novotny, Salado’s superintendent. “We performed well academically, and worked to be good stewards and spend our taxpayers’ money responsibly.”

Contact Chris McGuinness at chrism@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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