Friendswood ISD scored slightly higher in its annual financial accountability report compared to last year, achieving an “A” rating again, according to district documents.

What you need to know

Each year, the state of Texas issues financial accountability ratings, which come from the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas, or FIRST. The goal of the report is to grade school districts on their financial practices.

In its 2023 rating, FISD scored 92 out of 100 possible points, which are based on data from fiscal year 2021-22, according to district documents.

Many of the 20 indicators the district is rated on were identical to last year, according to the report. Those indicators measure a number of things, including:
  • The district’s administrative costs
  • Its ability to support long-term solvency
  • Compliance with grants
  • Financial transparency
  • Its general fund revenues compared to expenses
There are several indicators included that districts can either pass or fail, such as if the district submitted its financial documents on time or made timely payments to the teacher retirement system. If the district had failed any of those, its score would have automatically been an F.

By the numbers

Of the indicators, the district had a nonperfect score on two of them, according to the report. One was the ratio of long-term liabilities to total assets, for which FISD scored four out of 10 points. That score was two points higher than last year.

The district also scored an eight out of 10 on its debt per $100 of assessed property value, which measures how prepared the district is to support debt repayment, according to the report. That was the same score as last year.

Of its 92 points, 15 were automatically given, according to the report.

About 88% of school districts across Texas received an “A” rating, officials said at the meeting.

What else?

The district had a voter-approval tax rate election, or VATRE, on the Nov. 7 ballot, which was approved by voters. Results are still unofficial until canvassed by district officials.

The goal of the VATRE was to help close a projected $3.65 million shortfall in the district’s fiscal year 2023-24 budget. The VATRE will add about $1.2 million to the district’s revenue.

The election is expected to be canvassed in a special workshop meeting Nov. 17.