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Seven ETX school districts achieve 5-star rating for financial, academic success

Seven ETX school districts achieve 5-star rating for financial, academic success
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POSTED: Monday, March 10, 2014 - 1:08pm

UPDATED: Monday, March 10, 2014 - 5:00pm

Seven East Texas school disricts received the Financial Allocation Study for Texas (FAST) five-star rating for their excellence in in improving student achievement while keeping spending relatively low.

In a release from the state, 55 state school districts were identified as earning the highest rating, including Como ISD, Harleton ISD, Stephen F. Austin State University Charter School, White Oak ISD, Whitehouse ISD, Winnsboro ISD and Woden ISD. That number is up from 45 in 2012.

The new website, www.fastexas.org, allows Texans to compare school districts and campuses statewide on key academic and financial measures with a multitude of custom reporting features. 

“I am pleased to see more schools being better stewards of our citizens’ tax dollars while achieving better academic outcomes,” Texas Comproller Susan Combs said. “Our new Web tool gives parents, businesses, and community leaders access to information that helps them see how well schools in their area are utilizing public funds in comparison to other districts across the state.” 

FAST is updated annually using the most recent data from the Texas Education Agency. 

The 2013 FAST ratings are assigned to 1,141 school districts and charters. Based on the FAST formula, school districts and campuses receive ratings from one to five stars, in half-star increments. A district that achieves the highest rating of five stars ranks among the top 20 percent of all Texas school districts in academic progress, while keeping expenditures among the lowest 20 percent of fiscally comparable districts. 

The 2009 Legislature’s House Bill 3 directed the Comptroller to “identify school districts and campuses that use resource allocation practices that contribute to high academic achievement and cost-effective operations.” 

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