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For the 20th time in 21 years, McAllen ISD has received the state’s highest mark by the Texas Education Agency’s School FIRST (Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas), earning a perfect score in the process, according to preliminary reports.

The 2022-23 rating is based on the annual financial report provided to the Texas Education Agency by the District from the 2021-22 school year. This is the second straight year McAllen ISD has earned the Superior Achievement rating with a perfect score.

The Superior Achievement rating serves as an indicator of the quality of the district’s financial management and reporting system. In the past 21 years, McAllen ISD has now produced 16 perfect scores.

“I want to congratulate our Business Operations Division for its hard work, ensuring we operate at a high level of transparency, accountability and fiscal management,” McAllen ISD Interim Superintendent Dr. Rosalba De Hoyos said. “We manage the public’s dollars and take that responsibility very seriously. This team’s dedication and vision toward our goals has benefitted our students, staff and schools.”

A report will be presented to the McAllen School Board on October 30.

The School FIRST rating system encourages public schools to better manage their financial resources in order to provide the maximum amount possible for student instruction.

The FIRST goals include:

  • Strengthen fiscal accountability
  • Improve performance in the management of district finances
  • Facilitate effective and efficient use of resources

The ratings are based on 20 (four not being rated) financial indicators, such as operating expenditures for instruction, cash on hand and fund balance.

 McAllen ISD has won several major awards in recent years for its sound fiscal practices. These include:

  • The Certificate of Achievement in Excellence in Financial Reporting by Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) for the 13th consecutive fiscal year (2010-22). The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.
  • Recognized for excellence in budget presentation with the Meritorious Budget Award (MBA) for the 2023–24 budget year. This is the ninth straight year (2016-24) McAllen ISD has been recognized for its comprehensive budget presentation. The award has come from the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) for budget years 2017-18 through 2022-23 while the district had previously received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for budget years 2015-16 and 2016-17.
  • Maintaining a high credit rating from a major credit-rating service (Moody’s).
  • Earned Transparency Stars from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts in Debt Obligations for exemplary efforts in creating financial transparency around public debt and the Transparency Star in the area of traditional finances for exemplary efforts in creating financial transparency around public services and spending decisions.
  • Awarded the Achievement of Excellence in Procurement (AEP) for 10th time in 11 fiscal years (2013-18, 2020-23) from the National Procurement Institute, Inc. This is an international award (US & Canada). 
  • The Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO) has presented the Award of Merit for Purchasing Operations to McAllen ISD six times including the last three consecutive years. The Award of Merit recognizes Texas school districts that are committed to following professional standards in the acquisition of goods and services. McAllen ISD has won this award in 2014-16 and 2021-23.