TEA gives Fort Bend ISD financial rating of “A, Superior Achievement” for maximizing use of funds to support students (11/14/2023)
Fort Bend ISD (Nov. 13, 2023) – The Texas Education Agency has released accountability ratings for school districts in the state, and FBISD has once again received an “A,” which is classified as “Superior Achievement,” when it comes to providing the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes.
In other words, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) found that FBISD does a superior job of spending money in ways that directly impact teaching and learning in the classroom. The district has received superior ratings for the past two decades.
“We take our financial responsibility and the public trust very seriously, so it is always gratifying when we are recognized for putting our students first and running a tight ship,” FBISD Supt. Dr. Christie Whitbeck said. “I want to thank our financial team for the excellent work they perform daily under the leadership of Chief Financial Officer Bryan Guinn.”
The superior financial rating comes on the heels of the district receiving a clean audit from its external financial auditor, Whitley Penn. Both the TEA rating, which is called the School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas or FIRST and the external audit report are indicative of the district’s commitment to strong financial management and transparency.
The TEA’s highest ratings are reserved for school districts that “exemplify high quality financial management,” the agency stated in a news release. In FBISD, that is reflected in practices such as maintaining a 90-day fund balance, which is money held in reserve that would allow the district to continue paying all its employees and bills for 90 days in the event of a fiscal crisis.
The TEA stated that ratings for 2022-2023 are based on annual financial reports provided to the agency by school systems for the 2022 fiscal year, which are then reviewed by the TEA and assigned grades of A, B, C, or F.
A presentation of the district’s financial reports will take place at a public hearing at the FBISD Administration Building on December 4, 2023 at 5:30 p.m.
A total of 88% of the school systems in Texas received an “A” rating from the TEA, 7% received a “B” rating, 5% received a “C” rating, and 1% received an “F.”