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District ranks in top 20 percent of schools statewide

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MIDLOTHIAN - Midlothian Independent School District has earned the highest rating of five-stars in the 2011 Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Financial Allocation Study for Texas rating report. 

“This recognition spotlights our conservative effort to be good stewards of MISD’s taxpayer dollars while providing a quality educational experience for our students,” said Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Dr. Edd Bigbee.

Comptroller Susan Combs announced she has updated her groundbreaking 2010 Financial Allocation Study for Texas and assigned new rankings to 1,237 school districts and charter schools, using the most recent educational data available.

In the new report, 46 school districts received the highest rating of five stars, compared to 43 districts who achieved the top ranking in the original study. A five-star rating means the district’s spending is very low, while students’ academic performance is very high compared to similar districts.

In addition to ratings for all Texas public school districts, school campuses and charter schools, the FAST website, www.fastexas.org, offers examples of “Smart Practices” employed by school districts to achieve greater efficiency and enhance student performance.  Smart Practices can be emulated by other districts and they are also intended to spark new solutions to the cost of delivering a quality education.

“Today, [ThursdaySept.15] many Texas school districts face the challenge of educating more students with less funding,” said Combs.

“FAST is an online tool they can use to compare their performance with similar districts and determine smart practices to better utilize the funds available, creating an efficient system and, more importantly, successful students.

The 2009 Texas Legislature mandated the comptroller to create a method to fairly compare the state’s diverse school districts. When comparing district and campus spending, the FAST methodology groups districts and campuses into sets of “fiscal peers” that operate in similar cost environments, including factors such as regional wages, district size and student characteristics.

Based on the FAST formula, school districts and campuses receive ratings from one to five stars, with half-star increments. A district who achieves the highest rating of five stars ranks among the top 20 percent of all Texas school districts in academic progress, while keeping spending among the lowest 20 percent of fiscally comparable districts.

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