Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Glenn Hegar

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For Immediate Release

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September 27, 2011

China Spring ISD Achieves Highest “FAST” Rating – Five Stars

(WACO) — Texas Comptroller Susan Combs announced today that China Spring ISD has earned a place in the Texas Honors Circle for achieving the highest possible five-star rating in the Comptroller’s Financial Allocation Study for Texas (FAST). The study rates Texas school districts and campuses on their success in combining high academic achievement with cost-effective operations.

“I applaud China Spring 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. “I also welcome China Spring ISD to the 2011 Texas Honors Circle, which is a new award I have created to give well-deserved special recognition to school districts and campuses that achieve a five-star FAST rating.”

Only 46, or 4 percent of all Texas school districts, earned five stars. A five-star rating means the district’s spending is very low, while students’ academic performance is very high compared to similar districts. Combs recently 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.

“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.”

China Spring ISD’s smart practices include a dual credit arrangement with McLennan County Community College that allows students to take college courses and receive college credit along with the credits needed for high school graduation. China Spring ISD also has a very strong educational foundation created by parents, business leaders and community members to provide funding for educational enrichment such as specialized classroom supplies, field trips and academic summer camps.

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.

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

Visit the FAST website at www.FASTexas.org.


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