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Executive Order RP47 - Relating to a Comprehensive Financial Accountability and Reporting System to Ensure Transparency and Fiscal Efficiency in .....

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Executive Order RP47 - Relating to a Comprehensive Financial Accountability and Reporting System to Ensure Transparency and Fiscal Efficiency in School District Operations.

BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF TEXAS
Executive Department
Austin, Texas
August 22, 2005

WHEREAS, the Commissioner of Education is required under Subchapter I, Chapter 39, Texas Education Code, to develop and implement a financial accountability rating and reporting system for school districts in this state; and

WHEREAS, establishing a robust fiscal accountability rating and reporting system is essential to maintaining public confidence in our state's education system; and

WHEREAS, the clearly defined performance indicators and comprehensive scope of our state's academic performance accountability and reporting system have successfully raised the expectations and achievements of Texas schools; and

WHEREAS, the current financial accountability and rating system does not provide the information and incentives necessary to increase the efficiency with which public education funds are expended; and

WHEREAS, in order to maximize the academic achievement of Texas students, it is necessary to maximize the percentage of school funds that are directed toward instructional purposes; and

WHEREAS, Texans deserve a comprehensive financial accountability and reporting system that identifies funds expended on all significant categories of expenditures;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Texas, do hereby order the following:

Creation. The Commissioner of Education shall create and implement a comprehensive financial accountability and reporting system to ensure transparency and fiscal efficiency in school district operations.

System Design. By the authority granted to the commissioner under Subchapter I, Chapter 39, Education Code, the commissioner shall design a financial accountability and reporting system.

Reporting Indicators and Requirements. The financial accountability and reporting system shall include an indicator establishing a requirement that 65 percent of school district funds be expended for instructional purposes as defined by the National Center for Education Statistics.

The financial accountability and reporting system shall include indicators of school district efficiency, including the use of shared-services agreements and consolidation of administrative functions.

The financial accountability and reporting system shall include a requirement for clear and concise accounting of school district expenditures, including amounts expended on the following:

* Funds used for school district operations not related to direct instruction including counseling services, technology, nursing, and social services.
* Funds used for maintenance, repair, and construction of school district facilities.
* Funds used for professional development and related purposes and how those funds relate to core academic areas required under state curriculum standards and as measured by state assessments.
* Dues or contributions to a non-instructional club, committee, or organization.
* Funds provided to any person or organization for the purpose of lobbying.
* Funds expended for consulting services, media, and public relations services.
* Funds expended for legal services, including legal fees spent on lawsuits against the state.
* Funds available in school district fund balances.

Investigations and Actions. The commissioner shall, in accordance with authority granted under Subchapter D, Chapter 39, Texas Education Code, conduct special accreditation investigations of school districts exhibiting poor financial management and may take appropriate action under Subchapter G, Chapter 39, Texas Education Code; or lower a school district's accreditation rating as deemed appropriate by the commissioner; or both.

This executive order supersedes all previous orders in conflict or inconsistent with its terms and shall remain in effect and in full force until modified, amended, rescinded, or superseded by me or by a succeeding Governor

Given under my hand this the 22nd day of August, 2005.

RICK PERRY
Governor

ATTESTED BY:
ROGER WILLIAMS
Secretary of State

http://www.governor.state.tx.us/divisions/press/exorders/rp47

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