The Driscoll Independent School District has received the state's highest rating under the Texas Schools FIRST financial accountability rating system.

School officials announced the "Superior Achievement" rating at a public meeting Oct. 18.

The "Superior Achievement" rating is the state's highest, demonstrating the quality of Driscoll ISD's financial management and reporting system.

This is the fifth year of Schools FIRST, which stands for Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas, a financial accountability system for Texas school districts developed by the Texas Education Agency in response to Senate Bill 875 of the 76th Texas Legislature in 1999.

The primary goal of Schools FIRST is to achieve quality performance in the management of school district resources, a goal made more significant due to the complexity of accounting associated with Texas's school finance system.

"We are very pleased with our Schools FIRST rating," said Superintendent Cynthia M. Garcia, "as it shows that our district is making the most of our taxpayers' dollars. This rating shows that Driscoll ISD's schools are not only "Recognized" for student learning, but also for achieving these results cost-effectively and efficiently."

The Schools FIRST accountability rating system assigns one of four financial accountability ratings to Texas school districts, with the highest being "Superior Achievement," followed by "Above-Standard Achievement," "Standard Achievement" and "Substandard Achievement."

Districts with serious data quality problems may receive the additional rating of "Suspended-Data Quality." Districts that receive the "Substandard Achievement" or "Suspended-Data Quality" ratings under Schools FIRST must file a corrective action plan with the Texas Education Agency.