GISD Receives High Score for High Achievement, Cost-Effective Operations
Former Texas Comptroller Susan Combs announced the launch of the Texas Smart Schools Initiative, a data integration platform that empowers Texas parents and educators to identify schools that are getting the “best bang for the buck” when it comes to spending and student performance.
“Public education is one of the largest items in the state budget, so Texans need to know where their dollars are getting the highest return in terms of student performance,” said Combs, a longtime transparency advocate. “With this platform, parents can find out which schools are beating expectations and educators can find peers whose success makes them worth emulating. It’s truly an initiative that lends itself to the common good.”
Using both academic progress and spending levels at Texas' school districts and individual school campuses, each district and campus has been assigned a Smart Score of one to five stars, indicating its success in combining cost-effective spending with the achievement of measurable student academic progress compared with their fiscal peers. Greenville ISD received four stars. Out of 1165 districts ranked, only 144 received the significant four star ranking.
Superintendent Don Jefferies stated, “I am continually proud of the prudent way in which we spend taxpayer dollars and how each of those dollars are used efficiently to educate Greenville ISD students to their fullest capability. We will continue to be fiscally responsible as we grow programs and reach even higher academic success.”
The Texas Smart Schools Initiative has its roots in the Financial Allocation Study for Texas (FAST), a program created by the 81st Texas Legislature, which directed then-Comptroller Combs to identify school districts and campuses that use resource allocation practices that contribute to high academic achievement and cost-effective operations. The initiative uses recognized statistical methods to create better, more apples-to-apples, comparison measures for spending and academic growth.
Jefferies continued, “We will continue to analyze all available data, including the Texas Smart Schools Initiative, as we go through the annual budgeting process. With a below-average administrator salary ratio and an above-average spending per pupil, our continued intent is to place dollars directly into our classrooms to most benefit our students.”