Dripping Springs ISD received the highest rating from the state for its financial transparency, DSISD Financial director Joseph Riggs said during a presentation about the rating at a board meeting Oct. 23.

The overview

The Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas, or FIRST, measures the quality of a school district’s reporting and management of finances to hold the district accountable for its financial management.

DSISD received an “A” rating, scoring 90 out of 100 points, based on fiscal year 2021-22. Last year, the district received a “C” rating based on data from FY 2020-21.

“I’m excited that we’ve gone from rating of letter ‘C’ to a letter ‘A.’ I think that’s outstanding,” board member Kim Cousins said Oct. 23.

The details

The FIRST scores a district’s compliance under 20 indicators with five considered critical. The 20 indicators measure a district’s compliance with audit reporting, the accuracy of student attendance estimates, healthy fund balance levels, the relationship of district revenues to expenditures, and timely debt and employee benefit-related payments, as previously reported by Community Impact.

DSISD failed to get the highest score on indicator 18, and received no points out of 10.

Indicator 18 evaluates if a district is complying with all laws related to how a district spends grants and other state or federal funds.

An external auditor found that DSISD did not adopt sufficient appropriations for the general fund expenditures, spending about $2 million over the legally adopted appropriations, and exceeded appropriations in the debt service fund by $5.2 million.

District officials anticipate receiving higher scores on indicator 18 based on an audit for FY 2022-23, Riggs said.

For more information, visit www.dsisdtx.us.