Courtesy Roberto Treviño,
For the ninth year in a row, LISD’s Financial Management Department received a rating of “Superior Achievement” under the Financial Integrity Rating System (FIRST), the state’s finance accountability rating system for fiscal year 2009-2010. The rating system measures the quality of a school district’s financial management and reporting.
This is the ninth year of schools FIRST(Financial Accountability Rating System of Texas), 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. The primary goal of the FIRST system is to achieve quality performance in the management of school district’s financial resources. This goal is now more significant due to the complexity of accounting associated with the Texas’ school finance system.
“The Superior Achievement rating demonstrates the quality of Laredo ISD’s financial management and reporting system. We are very pleased with Laredo ISD’s Schools FIRST rating as it shows that our district is making the most of our taxpayers’ dollars,” said Laredo ISD Superintendent Dr. Marcus Nelson. “This rating shows that LISD’s schools are accountable not only for student learning, but also for achieving these results cost-effectively and efficiently. I especially want to congratulate the Financial Management Department for all their hard work and for their continued effort to maximize each taxpayer dollar.”
The School FIRST accountability rating system assigns one of four financial accountability ratings to Texas school districts, with the highest being “Superior Achievement,” followed by “Above Standard Achievement,” “Standard Achievement,” and “Substandard Achievement.” Districts with serious data quality problems may receive the additional rating of “Suspended – Data Quality.” Districts that receive the “Substandard Achievement” or “Suspended – Data Quality” ratings under School FIRST must file a corrective action plan with the Texas Education Agency.
In addition to the Superior FIRST rating, Laredo ISD has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting and the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR).
An award of Financial Reporting Achievement has been presented to the LISD Financial Management Department by the government as primarily responsible for preparing the award-winning CAFR. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.
The CAFR has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.
The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving approximately 17,500 government finance professionals with offices in Chicago, Il, and Washington, D.C.