“Not only did we receive the highest rating once again, but we received a perfect score on all indicators,” stated Superintendent Tim Harkrider. “This achievement shows that our district is making the most of our taxpayer’s dollars and demonstrates that we are accountable not only for student learning, but also for achieving these results cost-effectively and efficiently.”
Major changes to the School FIRST system were implemented by the Texas Education Agency in August 2015 that combined financial indicators with financial solvency indicators, in accordance with House Bill 5, 83rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2013. The primary goal of School FIRST is to achieve quality performance in the management of school districts’ financial resources, a goal made more significant due to the complexity of accounting associated with Texas’ school finance system.
The Texas Education Agency converted School FIRST to a two-tier rating system of either “P” for “Pass” or “F” for “Substandard Achievement” for the 2014-2015 rating year. Prior to that time, the Schools FIRST accountability rating system assigned one of four financial accountability ratings to Texas School Districts, with the highest being “Superior Achievement”. Willis ISD received the rating of “Pass” for this year and “Superior Achievement” for the previous 12 years.
“These ratings are a testament to the dedication of everyone in our business office, under the leadership of Assistant Superintendent Tammy Moore, to ensuring that we are good stewards of public funds,” stated Harkrider.