The Spring ISD Board of Trustees, during its Oct. 17 regular meeting, held a public hearing on the results of the annual School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (School FIRST) report, during which Chief Financial Officer Ann Westbrooks officially informed the trustees that Spring ISD had once again achieved an “A” rating.
“It is my honor this evening to say that Spring ISD does have an ‘A’ rating, which represents ‘Superior Achievement’ on this report,” Westbrooks said. “We’re very proud of that rating, and continue to work very hard to maintain that rating in future years.”
Under the School FIRST financial accountability system, “Superior Achievement” is the state’s highest rating, demonstrating the quality, accuracy and transparency of a district’s financial management and reporting systems. State law requires that school districts prepare an annual financial accountability report within two months of receiving their final ratings, and each school district must announce and hold a public hearing to distribute the results of the report.
“As a reminder, School FIRST is a financial accountability rating system that holds school districts accountable for the quality of our financial management,” Westbrooks told trustees. “It’s designed to encourage effective and efficient management of financial resources in order to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes.”
The current report, which is based on data from the 2021-22 fiscal year, consists of 20 base indicators related to financial management across the district. They encompass timely and accurate reporting as required by state and national agencies; timely payments to the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) of Texas, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and other government agencies; effective debt management and adequate cash-on-hand reserves; asset-to-liability ratios; administrative cost ratios; and others.
The report – along with others from recent years – will be available on the district’s financial transparency webpage, where community members can access it along with a range of other financial information related to district operations.
Trustee Dr. Deborah Jensen praised the work that goes into preparing the annual report, and spoke to its importance as part of the district’s commitment to transparency.
“It ensures that we are spending our public, taxpayer money with integrity, and with absolute complete visibility,” Jensen said.