FIRST Public Hearing

by Coy Holcombe.  

Tonight the EISD Board is holding a public hearing (6:45 PM in the HS library) to discuss the district’s rating on the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST). The objective of FIRST is to give people an idea of the financial condition of the district. Basically, FIRST is made up of 24 questions about the district’s financial state. The answers are based upon the financial audit submitted to the Texas Education Agency by our outside auditors. Because FIRST is based on our auditor’s report to TEA, the current rating is based on the findings of the 06-07 school year. For the 06-07 school year, EISD achieved the rating of “Superior Achievement”. This is the highest rating that a district may receive.

The first six questions are yes or no questions: either the district achieved the objective or it did not. If a district receives a “No” response on any of the first four questions, then the district automatically receives a rating of “Substandard Achievement”. If a district receives a “No” response to questions 5 and 6, then that district also automatically receives a rating of “Substandard Achievement”.  EISD received “Yes” responses to the first six questions.

Question 7 deals with the district’s accountability rating.  A district cannot receive a rating of “Superior Achievement” if the district’s accountability rating is “Academically Unacceptable”. The next seventeen questions are based on a five point scale. Five points are awarded for achieving at level specified in FIRST, 4 points are awarded for achieving at just below the specified level, etc. In this section, there is a possibility of scoring 85 points (this would be a perfect score). Out of 85 possible points, EISD earned 82.

Special thanks go out to business manager Carol Warren for all of her hard work and dedication in working to make sure that our financial records are up-to-date and accurate. Also, special recognition needs to go to our payroll clerk, Debbie Meyners, our accounts payable clerk, Kara Weaver, our tax collector, Debbie Myers, and our PEIMS coordinator, Karen Thompson. All of these professionals had a major role in EISD achieving the “Superior Achievement” rating. Finally, a very special recognition needs to go to the men and women on the EISD Board of Trustees. They provide the district with the leadership and decision making necessary for such achievements.

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