Central Texas school districts get financial accountability grades

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AUSTIN, Texas (KWTX) The Texas Education Agency released preliminary financial accountability ratings Wednesday for the state’s more than 1,100 school districts and charters, 80 percent of which earned the highest rating possible.

School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas ratings are calculated using 15 financial indicators, such as administrative cost expenditures; the accuracy of a district or charter’s financial information submitted to TEA; and any financial vulnerabilities or material weaknesses in internal controls as determined by an external auditor, the TEA said Wednesday.

A total of 955 districts and charters received “A” ratings for superior ratings, while 140 received “B” ratings for above standard achievement.

A total of 79 districts and charters received “C” ratings for meeting standards and just 14 districts received “F” ratings for substandard achievement.

Central Texas districts fared well.

The region’s largest districts including Temple, Killeen, Belton, Copperas Cove, Midway and Waco all received “A” ratings.

Hillsboro, Mexia, and West received “B” ratings.

Marlin, Mart and McGregor received "C" ratings.

Next week districts will receive letter grades for academic performance for the first time as the state prepares to roll out its new classroom accountability system.

School district scores on an A-F grading system will be released Aug. 15.

The majority of the rating system is based on student performance on achievement tests and their improvement from the year before.

Other factors include graduation preparation and student performance from subgroups, including special education.

Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath says the new system will make it easier for families to understand how well their schools are educating their children.

Many school leaders have opposed the system out of fear it will unfairly judge schools, particularly in poor communities that struggle to retain teachers and families.