Created by the 77th Texas Legislature in 2001, the School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) is designed to encourage public schools to better manage their financial resources to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes.
Using data from the 2017-18 school year, the FIRST ratings are calculated using 15 financial indicators, such as administrative cost expenditures; the accuracy of a district or charter’s financial information submitted to TEA; and any financial vulnerabilities or material weaknesses in internal controls as determined by an external auditor.
Five Harmony Public Schools districts – including those serving families in the communities of Greater Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Laredo, Brownsville, Katy, Sugar Land, Cypress, Bryan and Beaumont – received a “Perfect 100” score.
Harmony’s El Paso District – which also serves students in Lubbock and Odessa – scored a 98 on the FIRST ratings, while Harmony’s district serving Austin, Pflugerville and Cedar Park scored a 96.
“We are proud of the work being done each day in our districts to make sure the funds entrusted to our schools are being spent in a way that is both financially responsible, and that creates new and innovative educational opportunities for our students,” Harmony Public Schools CEO Fatih Ay said.
Harmony Public Schools is a Texas-born, Texas-wide charter public school system offering a free, nationally-recognized curriculum focused on STEM and Character Education to Texas students in Grades PreK-12. In 2018-2019 the TEA also awarded the Harmony Public School system six “A” ratings in its annual Accountability Ratings. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement also honored Harmony with an $8 million Education Innovation and Research (EIR) Grant for its pioneering “LEAF to STEM” program, which is focused on innovative teaching methods for science, technology, engineering and math students at the elementary level.
To learn more about Harmony Public Schools or apply for free, open enrollment, visit apply.harmonytx.org.
About Harmony Public Schools
Harmony Public Schools are 57 high performing PreK-12 college preparatory charter schools throughout Texas. Harmony blends the highest standards and expectations, with a rigorous math- and science-centered curriculum and dedicated and engaged teachers and families to cultivate excellence and prepare students to succeed in college, careers and life. At Harmony Public Schools, we believe every child can succeed, and we are committed to helping them realize their full potential. To learn more about Harmony Public Schools and our 57 campuses across Texas, please visit: www.harmonytx.org, and follow us on Twitter at @HarmonyEdu and ‘Like’ us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/HarmonyTexas.