Lake Travis ISD received the highest financial accountability rating from the state for 2023, a district official announced at an Oct. 18 board of trustees meeting.

“[I’m] here for some good news to share with you this year,” said Pam Sanchez, the district’s assistant superintendent for business services.

What happened

Lake Travis ISD officials reviewed and discussed the district’s FIRST rating, known as the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas. The district received an "A" superior achievement rating of 96 out of 100 for the 2022-23 school year based on data from the 2021-22 school year.

The ratings encourage fiscal responsibility and transparency for districts, and factor in 20 indicators to measure the district’s expenditures, accuracy of financial information and financial vulnerabilities, according to the Texas Education Agency. The district received perfect scores in all but two categories, receiving an 8 out of 10 for indicators 11 and 13, Sanchez said.

The details

Indicator 11 compares the district’s assets to its long-term debt. A district automatically passes this indicator if its enrollment grows 7% or more over five years as fast-growth districts incur additional costs; however, LTISD only grew by 5.5%, according to district documents.

“Our student growth due to COVID had slowed down a little bit,” Sanchez said. “Our long-term liabilities to assets was a little bit short, and we just barely missed that threshold.”

Sanchez said the district could receive full points for this indicator next year even if growth doesn’t increase to 7%. She said liabilities, such as campuses under construction in 2021, will eventually be counted as assets.

Indicator 13 measures the percentage of the district’s budget that went toward administration costs based on its average daily attendance, or ADA, of students, Sanchez said. She said the district staffs based on enrollment, which is higher than its ADA, and that the district’s ADA of 10,187 students this year put it in a new threshold of districts with 10,000 or more students.

“We went to a new level of size of district for the number of staff that we have as principals, as [assistant principals], general administration, instructional administration,” Sanchez said. “We're not going to reduce our administrators as far as our instructional or general administration just because we are now into a new level."

Also of note
  • LTISD has received a superior rating since 2003 when the FIRST program was implemented.
  • This year’s score was the district’s lowest score since 2016 when it also received a 96.
  • Eighty-five percent of districts in the state received an A rating in 2022, according to the TEA.
Learn more

Visit here to read the district’s full 2022–23 FIRST Ratings Report.