Texas Border Business
For the 14th time in 15 years, McAllen ISD has received the state’s highest mark by the Texas Education Agency’s School FIRST (Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas). The district did it with a perfect score – the sixth straight year it has earned perfect marks.
The 2017 rating is based on the annual financial report provided to the Texas Education Agency by the district from the 2015-16 school year.
The Superior Achievement rating serves as an indicator of the quality of the District’s financial management and reporting system.
“Congratulations to our Business Office for their hard work and ensuring that our district continues to operate at an exemplary level of accountability and financial management,” McAllen ISD Superintendent J.A. Gonzalez, Ed.D., said. “A close watch of the district’s finances ensures that more funding is allocated to support instruction and district goals that benefit our students, staff and schools.”
The School FIRST rating system encourages public schools to better manage their financial resources in order to provide the maximum amount possible for student instruction.
The FIRST goals include:
• Strengthen fiscal accountability
• Improve performance in the management of district finances
• Facilitate effective and efficient use of resources
The ratings are based on 15 financial indicators, such as operating expenditures for instruction, tax collection rates, student-teacher ratios, and long-term debt.
The rating is based on the annual financial report provided to TEA by the district from the 2015-16 school year.
McAllen ISD has won several major awards in recent years for its sound fiscal practices. These include:
• Improved credit rating from a major credit-rating service (Moody’s). Designation based on strong, effective and conservative money-management of taxpayer dollars.
• Earned Transparency Stars from Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts in Traditional Finances and Debt Obligations in 2016.
• Earned state’s highest award for financial transparency from Texas Comptroller in 2013 (known as Leadership Circle Gold Seal Award), in 2014 and 2015 (known as Leadership Circle Platinum Seal Award).
• Earned Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards for annual budget preparation for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years from Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). This award is the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting.
• The GFOA has awarded the district the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the submittal of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal years 2010-2016. The CAFR Program recognizes state and local governments that go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure.