• November 22, 2014

School districts financially healthy

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Posted: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 2:23 pm, Tue Oct 8, 2013.

A recent report from the Texas Education Agency rated the financial health of Texas school districts, and many local school systems passed with flying colors.

The agency released its Financial Integrity Rating System, or FIRST, report on the state’s school districts earlier this month, which included ratings for school districts in Killeen, Copperas Cove, Belton and others.

The rating system was created to hold school districts and open-enrollment charter schools accountable for their financial management practices, and help improve the way they manage financial resources.

This year’s ratings cover the 2011-2012 fiscal year and rated districts on 20 separate criteria. Those criteria include performance on annual audit, debt and even student-to-teacher ratio. Districts then receive a score from zero to 70 based on how well they met those indicators.

This year, the Killeen Independent School District received a rating of “superior achievement” on its FIRST report, scoring a total of 69 of the 70 points.

“That’s the highest rating for the FIRST system,” said Megan Bradley, the district’s chief financial officer, of the superior rating.

According to the data on the agency’s website, the Killeen district has received the superior rating since the 2001-2002 school year.

The Copperas Cove Independent School District also received a superior rating from the agency for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

The district has received that rating each year since the 2002-2003 fiscal year, according to the agency’s data.

State law requires that districts must announce and hold a public meeting to distribute a financial management report that explains their rating to the public. The Cove district will hold its meeting at 6:30 tonight, while the Killeen district will hold its public meeting at 6 p.m. Nov. 12.

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