For two consecutive years, Irving ISD has achieved a five-star rating for the Comptroller’s Financial Allocation Study for Texas (FAST). Texas Comptroller Susan Combs visited the district today to personally congratulate Dr. Dana T. Bedden, the Superintendent of Schools.
In a special ceremony at 4:15pm in the Administrative Boardroom, Combs spoke about how the dollars spent in Irving ISD were directly related to the success of the students. “I applaud Irving ISD for its efforts to control spending and use available resources as efficiently as possible without sacrificing quality where it counts most – in the classroom,” Combs said.
The study rates Texas school districts and campuses on their success in combining high academic achievement with cost-effective operations. Only 46 out of the 1,237 school districts and charter schools across the state achieved the five-star FAST rating this year. Irving ISD is one of only 23 districts to be awarded this rating twice. This is the second year of the rating’s existence.
Irving ISD’s Associate Superintendent of Business Services, Debbie Cabrera notes,
“We’ve committed ourselves to listening to the needs of our community and recommendations from our Board of Trustees. In Irving ISD, children come first…especially when it comes to where we decide to spend our money.”
“Today, many Texas school districts face the challenge of educating more students with less funding,” Combs said. “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 operates 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 that 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.
FAST ratings are updated annually using the most recent data from the Texas Education Agency. Visit the FAST website at www.FASTexas.org.