Los Fresnos News

District earns FIRST Superior Achievement rating for 18th straight year

15 financial indicators calculate TEA financial integrity ratings.

For the 18th straight year, Los Fresnos CISD has received a Superior Achievement rating from TEA’s Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST).

Chief Financial Officer Pablo Bazaldua presented the FIRST report to the Los Fresnos CISD Board of Trustees at its meeting Monday. The FIRST rating covered the 2019-2020 school year.

The District has been scored every year since its inception in 2002-03. Los Fresnos CISD received a perfect score of 100 on the 15 indicators for the 2020-2021 school year. The District has received perfect scores 9 out of the last 10 years.

“The Business Office has worked really hard to obtain this rating and it was a team effort by everyone,” Bazaldua said.  “Our primary goal has been to be transparent and convey fiscal responsibility in everything that we do.”

FIRST ensures that Texas public schools are held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and that they improve those practices. The system is designed to encourage Texas public schools to better manage their financial resources to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes.

The FIRST ratings are calculated using 15 financial indicators, such as administrative cost expenditures; the accuracy of a district or charter’s financial information submitted to TEA; and any financial vulnerabilities or material weaknesses in internal controls as determined by an external auditor.

The Texas Education Agency assigned one of four financial accountability ratings to Texas 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.”

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