Friendswood Independent School district is one of only 44 public school districts and charters in Texas to receive the highest rating of five stars by the Texas Smart Schools organization, a non-profit organization founded by former Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Susan Combs and Texas A&M researchers. The organization compares district spending against student performance for the more than 1,029 public school districts and 250 charters in Texas.
The tool “Apples2Apples” groups districts with similar demographics (cost of labor, size, the percentage of low-income and limited English proficiency students) and compares what they spend per student and academic progress in math and reading based on state tests. The tool looks at three consecutive years of data, in this case, 2014-2015, 2013-2014, and 2012-2013.
FISD Board of Trustees approved the 2016-2017 operating budget of $47.9 million in July, serving the educational needs of about 6100 students. “Despite the challenges of the current state funding system, I am glad the District continues to be recognized as one of the state’s most effective and efficient school districts regardless of the one conducting the study or various criteria used,” said Trish Hanks, Superintendent. “It is a reflection of the district’s motto, Lead to Achieve Excellence in All Endeavors”
FISD was just ranked #2, only behind Katy ISD as Best School District in Houston-Metro by Niche and has ranked #1 in Top 10 for Most Efficient and Effective School districts in Texas as well as the Comptroller’s Platinum Leadership Circle Award in 2015 and Gold Leadership Circle Award.
Texas Smart Schools explains the 2016 results use 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 to their fiscal peers. Five stars reflect the strongest relative progress combined with the lowest relative spending.