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Belton ISD Earns State's Highest Fiscal Accountability Rating

During a public hearing at Monday night's school board meeting, Belton ISD Trustees reviewed the 2019 School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) Report. Belton ISD received a perfect score on the report and a “Superior Achievement” rating, which is the highest available. 

“We are very pleased with Belton ISD’s School FIRST rating,” said Belton ISD Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Land. “Our schools are accountable not only for student learning, but also for achieving results cost-effectively and efficiently for our taxpayers and this rating reflects that we are doing just that.”

The 2019 School FIRST Report is issued by the Texas Education Agency and based on data from the 2017-2018 school year. It evaluates school districts based on 14 scored indicators, which include the findings of external auditors, cash-on hand, debt and staffing levels.

Using those indicators, school districts are scored on a 100-point scale. Belton ISD received all 100 points possible. This is the 8th year in a row that the District has achieved a perfect score.

“Taxpayers trust Belton ISD to be a good steward of their tax dollars, and that’s a responsibility that this board takes seriously,” said Board President Sue Jordan. “We are proud that the district has again achieved a perfect score on the FIRST Report. It’s further evidence that the investment local property owners make when they pay their taxes, is not only providing a great education for students but is also a great value for taxpayers.”

This is the 17th year of School FIRST, a financial accountability system for Texas school districts developed by the Texas Education Agency in response to Senate Bill 875 of the 76th Texas Legislature in 1999 and amendments under House Bill 5, 83rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2013. 

The primary goal of School 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.