By Elsa Maxey
Needville, Katy, and Pearland ISD made the list. These school districts are close in proximity to Fort Bend County and in fact, Needville ISD is “one of us” in Fort Bend that made the list of the Five-Star school districts in the state. This report is from a September 2011 study of school districts that have improved student achievement while keeping expenditures relatively low, according to the state Comptroller’s Financial Allocation Study for Texas (FAST).
This month, State Comptroller Susan Combs released a list of 46 school districts which are among the 1,237 school districts and charter schools in the state with the assigned rankings. Combs’ office reports that the five stars means the district is spending very low compared to peer districts, and students’ academic performance is very high in comparison with the rest of the state.
Here’s what the profile and the progress for the schools in this area show, also vis a vis academic progress and spending.
Two years ago the state legislature mandated the Comptroller to create a method to compare the state’s diverse school districts. The FAST methodology places districts and campuses into sets of “fiscal peers” operating in similar cost environments that include factors such as regional wages, district size and student characteristics.
The FAST website, www.FASTEXAS.org, also has examples of practices used by school districts for greater efficiency and to enhance student performance. “The FAST methodology produces unbiased comparisons that are realistic and useful to educators, parents and taxpayers who want to see how their public schools stack up,” said Combs.