TEA

 Continuing a streak spanning more than a decade, the district has achieved for more than a decade, the Gatesville Independent School District earned a perfect 100 on its Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas score.

The state's school financial accountability rating system, known as the School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST), ensures that Texas public schools are held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and that they improve these practices. The system is designed to encourage Texas public schools to better manage their financial resources to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes.

"We're getting kind of used to this and I'm hoping we keep it up," said Darrell Frazier, chief financial officer for the district. "We were fortunate to again earn a perfect score and a superior achievement."

He said every year since at least 2010, GISD has earned a 100 in the rating, which is based on a combination of factors related to financial integrity and student achievement. A passing score requires at least a 70.

The score is based on a total of 20 indicators. Frazier said fewer districts passed based on a report from the state, and fewer districts also earned a superior rating, which requires at least a 90.

Although student enrollment is down for the latest school year, attendance by those enrolled continues to rise.

"We are back close to 95 percent, which is what we base our budget on," Frazier said. "We had 85 percent (attendance for September and 90 percent for October. It's coming up, which is good news.

"We have made some good progress in the last month so you can sleep a little easier at night."

Superintendent Barrett Pollard said he appreciates the efforts the staff make to earn that perfect FIRST score year after year.

"Darrell and his crew work hard but we can't take those perfect scores for granted," Pollard said. "A lot of schools don't have that."