Hays CISD received three and a half stars out of a possible five on the Texas Comptrollers’ Financial Allocation Study of Texas (FAST). Updated data for the third year of FAST ratings were released in September.
The FAST data examines both school finances and student progress to evaluate the effectiveness of educational spending; in other words, how does spending translate to academic progress. The measures are calculated for school districts and individual school campuses across Texas.
The study also identifies and shares cost-effective practices that could benefit campuses and districts across the state.
In 2009, the Texas Legislature’s House Bill 3 required the Texas Comptroller’s office to conduct this study. When legislators return to the capital in January, its members will face difficult decisions about public education, which is the largest expense for the state and for local governments.
The FAST report aims to provide a way for high-performing districts to model their tactics and strategies to other districts to achieve strong academic performance while keeping costs low.
For the FAST evaluation, each district and campus is assigned a rating of one to five stars, indicating its success in combining cost-effective spending with the achievement of measurable student academic progress. Five stars reflects the strongest relative progress combined with the lowest relative spending.
Hays CISD’s overall rating is just above the mid-point with a score of 3.5; many campuses achieved that same rating. But several campuses within the district scored four or more stars:
Buda Elementary 4.0
Elm Grove Elementary 4.5
Hemphill Elementary 4.0
Chapa Middle School 4.0
The district’s two main high schools had scores below the district’s overall score. Hays High School scored 2.5; Lehman’s score was 3.0.
Carpenter Hill Elementary, Pfluger Elementary, Simon Middle School, Live Oak Academy and the Impact Center were not rated in the FAST report.
Forty-five Texas schools achieved the top score of five stars. Only one Central Texas school district earned this distinction: Del Valle ISD. This was Del Valle’s first year to achieve the highest rating.