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EPISD earns highest fiscal accountability rating in Texas

FIRST Rating

(EL PASO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT --Oct. 16, 2019) — The Texas Education Agency this year gave the El Paso Independent School District’s financial management and reporting systems an “A” rating — the highest given out by the state.

EPISD earned a Superior Achievement rating in the Financial Accountability Rating System of Texas, or FIRST, based on data collected and reported during the 2018-19 school year, the latest reporting year.

“EPISD continues to demonstrate that it is a good steward of its finances and that it values the investment the taxpayers of El Paso make in the education of our students,” said Superintendent Juan E. Cabrera. “The Superior Achievement rating is not an easy one to reach. It shows that our schools are accountable and that our operations are cost-effective and successful.”

The rating is determined by the state using 15 reporting factors that include the successful completion and publishing of a financial statement, the effective and clear auditing of the financial statements by an independent auditor, compliance with debt payments, payments to the Teacher’s Retirement System, the strength of the District’s financial reserves, and a low administrative cost ratio.

EPISD’s administrative cost ratio sits at 4.91 percent and it is the lowest among school districts in the region. The state standard for appropriate administrative cost ratio for large districts is 8.55 percent — nearly double that of EPISD’s.

The District received a total of 96 points out of the available 100 points. This is the 16th time EPISD has achieved a Superior Achievement FIRST rating in the 17 years the system has been in place. Last year, the District received an Above Standard rating — the second highest available.

Story by Gustavo Reveles