SAN ANGELO, Texas — Every year, the Texas Education Agency evaluates school districts on their financial accountability, also known as "FIRST" ratings. These ratings are based on evaluations of how well districts manage their money in order to provide the best resources and instruction possible.
"Some are managerial, like are you managing the assets of the district in the proper form, but also are you maximizing those taxpayer dollars to promote student learning," said Fabian Gomez, the superintendent for Water Valley Independent School District.
Water Valley ISD scored exceptionally well on the FIRST ratings. In fact, for the third year in a row, Water Valley ISD received a perfect score on the state's school financial accountability rating system.
"That for me is one thing that I always take pride in - our administrative costs are always within the threshold," Gomez said.
The majority of school districts in West Texas, including Abilene, San Angelo, Brady and Grape Creek, received superior ratings from the TEA, based on indicators such as administrative cost ratio, the existence of any debt, and other financial reports completed by auditors.
"Every expenditure that you make, from a textbook to a bus, from a computer to a workbook has to be coded correctly. School finance is not like any other type of finance. It's nothing like balancing a checkbook from home," Gomez said.
The exact scores from other school districts in West Texas were not disclosed.