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All Hopkins County, Winnsboro, Yantis School Districts Received Superior FIRST Ratings

All Hopkins County, Winnsboro and Yantis school districts have received superior FIRST ratings from the state of Texas. These are the annual Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas evaluations of fiscal year 2018-2019 finances based on information submitted by districts using a state template.

According to Texas Education Agency, 1,021 school districts across the state were evaluated. Only 9 school districts (Meridian ISD, Culberson County-Allamoore ISD, Karnes City ISD, Divide ISD, Roscoe Collegiate ISD, Leander ISD, Floresville ISD, Rio Hondo ISD and Jim Hogg County ISD) received failing FIRST ratings. Overall, 898 or 88.04 percent of districts evaluated receive superior ratings (As), 81 districts (7.94 percent) received a B or Above Standard rating, 32 districts (3.14 percent) received a C or meets Meets Standard FIRST ratings.

Scoring Explained

The state evaluates districts’ finances based on 15 indicators, four with yes or no answers and 11 with formulas to derive numbers which then are checked against a scale, which determines points per indicator.

In order to pass, school districts had to score at least 60 points on the FIRST indicators. Al Hopkins County districts as well as Yantis and Winnsobro received As. In fact, the lowest score received by any of the 9 school districts was a 92, received by Cumby ISD. Sulphur Bluff and Winnsboro each received a 98. The six remaining school districts — Como-Pickton, Miller Grove, North Hopkins, Saltillo, Sulphur Springs and Yantis – received a perfect score of 100 on the FIRST rating, according to the final scores posted for 2019-2020 by Texas Education Agency.

SB received was one of 154 schools across the state (15.10 percent) to receive a score of 8 of a possible 10 points on indicator 11 which asks “Was the school district’s administrative cost ratio equal to or less than the threshold ratio?” Because Sulphur Bluff ISD’s administrative cost ratio is 0.2589 and the average daily attendance is 217.214 SB received a score of 8. In order to receive a perfect score, SBISD’s administrative cost ratio would have to be 0.2404 or less.

Cumby ISD received less than perfect scores on three indicators.

Indicator 6 asks “Was the number of days of cash on hand and current investments in the general fund for the school district sufficient to cover operating expenditures (excluding facilities acquisition and construction)?”

This is derived by dividing the total of Cash & Equivalents and Current Investments (740,634 +10,493) by the Total Expenditures minus Facilities Acquisition and Construction (4,588,036 -112,091), then multiplying that by 365. Cumby’s total was 61.2522, for which the district received 6 of a possible 10 points.

Indicator 7 asks “Was the measure of current assets to current liabilities ratio for the school district sufficient to cover short-term debt? This is derived by dividing the district’s current assets by its current liabilities (1,515,307/535,236). Cumby ISD scored  2.8311, for which the district received 8 of 10 points.

Indicator 10 asks “Was the debt service coverage ratio sufficient to meet the required debt service? The formula for Indicator 10 requires the district to subtract the total expenditures from total revenues in the General and Debt Service Funds ($4,626,473 revenue – $4,738,487 expenditures). Debt service function codes 71, 72, and 73 in the General and Service Funds; Fund Code 599 for the ending debt service fund balance; and Function Code 81 are then added to the first number ($280,183 + $45,727 + $112,091). That total amount is then divided by debt service function codes 71, 72, and 73 (in the General Fund and Debt Service Fund ((280,183). That gave Cumby ISD a 1.1635 percentage, for which the district received 8 points.

School District
Evaluated
FIRST
Score
FIRST
Grade
FIRST
Rating
Como-Pickton CISD100ASuperior
Cumby ISD92ASuperior
Miller Grove ISD100ASuperior
North Hopkins ISD100ASuperior
Saltillo ISD100ASuperior
Sulphur Buff ISD98ASuperior
Sulphur Springs ISD100ASuperior
Winnsboro ISD98ASuperior
Yantis ISD100A Superior
Local school districts’ FIRST Ratings

The only indicator on which Winnsboro did not receive a full 10 points was on indicator 8, which asks “Was the ratio of long-term liabilities to total assets for the school district sufficient to support long-term solvency? If the school district’s increase of students in membership over 5 years was 7 percent or more, then the school district passes this indicator?”

School Districts’ FIRST Public Meetings

School districts are required to hold public meetings to allow community members to ask questions about the rating. The following notices were provided to KSST regarding district FIRST meetings:

  • Miller Grove ISD will conduct a public meeting on Monday, December 14, 2020 at 6 p.m. in the High School Library to review and discuss the 2020 School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) rating.  This year’s rating of Superior is based on the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
  • Saltillo ISD will conduct a public meeting on Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 6 p.m. in the Superintendent’s office to review and discuss the 2020 School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) rating.  This year’s rating of Superior is based on the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
  • Sulphur Bluff ISD will conduct a public meeting on Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 6 p.m. in the Board Room to review and discuss the 2020 School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) rating.  This year’s rating of Superior is based on the 2018-2019 fiscal year.             

Author: Faith Huffman

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