Italy ISD scores 100% on Financial Accountability Rating System of Texas

The Italy Independent School District earned the state’s highest fiscal accountability rating for the 2011-2012 school year. This announcement came from Barry Bassett, superintendent, at a public hearing held Monday evening.

Natasha Blackburn, business manager, said the district scored 100% in all areas.

The Texas Education Agency developed the Schools FIRST (Financial Accountability Rating System of Texas) financial accountability system for Texas school districts in 1999. The primary goal of Schools FIRST is to achieve quality performance in the management of school districts’ financial resources, a goal made more significant due to the complexity of accounting associated with Texas’ school finance system.

Blackburn said the district scored 70 of 70 possible points from 20 indicators.

One of the questions asked was the number of superintendents in the last five years – three. Another question was how many business managers has the district had in the last five years – four. The student to teacher ratio was 11.3 students to one teacher.

The School FIRST accountability rating system assigns one of four financial accountability ratings to Texas school district, with the highest being “Superior Achievement,” followed by “Above-Standard Achievement,” Standard Achievement” and “Substandard Achievement.” Districts with serious data quality problems may receive the additional rating of “Suspended—Data Quality.”

Bassett said the district is pleased with Italy’s rating. He said it demonstrates that Italy schools are accountable not only for commendable and equitable student learning, but also for achieving these results cost-effectively and efficiently.