DISD receives highest rating in financial integrity
By Robin Scott
During the regular meeting of the DISD school board, Business Manager Delbert Dodds and Superintendent David Foote presented the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas Report (FIRST Rating) status detail for 2007-08 to the trustees of the board. The report lists all indicators and ratios that the Texas Education Agency (TEA) uses to determine rating of every school district within the state of Texas.
According to TEA, the purpose of the financial accountability rating system is “to ensure that school districts are held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and achieve improved performance in the management of their financial resources.” Further, it is “designed to encourage Texas public schools to manage their financial resources better in order to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes.”
DISD’s rating is “Superior Achievement.” The system has four ratings that include superior achievement, above standard achievement, standard achievement and substandard achievement. Not only did DISD receive the highest ranking, but was near the top of the scale of that category, scoring 82 in a range from 75 to 85. Answering “yes” or “no” to the indicators have the potential for an automatic substandard achievement rating, but DISD had no problems or issues in any of the indicators. Any district receiving a score of 55 or less was rated as substandard achievement.
The system also discloses the quality of local management and decision-making processes that impact the allocation of financial resources in Texas public schools, according to TEA. The evaluation of the long-term effectiveness of the system is expected to disclose any measurable improvement in the quality of Texas public schools’ financial decision-making processes, which is another goal of the system.
Present at Tuesday’s school board meeting were President Jeff Lloyd, board trustees Russell Routon, Doug Claborn, Randy Sherrill and Gary Schniederjan. Also present were Superintendent David Foote and Business Manager Delbert Dodds. From the schools were XIT Principal Carolyn Field and Dalhart Junior High Principal John Machel.
Other business before the board included a discussion concerning the title to the Palm Harbor Windsor trailer purchased earlier this year. The district has still not received title to the property despite all efforts. Jon King, who handled the sale of the property for the property owner, was not at Tuesday’s board meeting, so the board was unable to ask questions of him directly. The board is considering options available to obtain the title.
The board cast its votes for Hartley County Appraisal District Board of Directors for 2010-2011 as follows, Dean Graham 594, Gene Rahll 593 and Wayne Speer 748. The board also discussed Superintendent goals, and David Foote reported on the status of his goals. A brief discussion was held regarding teachers within the district who do not meet the highly qualified status or who are not certified in the area in which they teach, and the status of what is required for each to complete necessary requirements to obtain those statuses. Twelve teachers in the district are in the process of completing requirements, most of which are the necessity of taking an exam.