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I have posted a number of articles today related to Judge Dietz's decision yesterday that our school funding system is unconstitutional.  I want to make one point today and that is about the enormity of this decision.  Think about the number of school districts involved, the number of communities, the number of students, and taxpayers/voters that were on the plaintiff side of this case.  The case has both a moral side and a legal side - both are very convincing in that we should seek and expect changes from our Legislature for our students and taxpayers.  The following is from an  article in the Houston Chronicle by Lauren McGaughy. read more arw

Congratulations to the following New Supers

Carol Perez, Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction, Kingsville ISD, has been named New Super of Kingsville ISD.

Brenda Krchnak, Asst. Superintendent of Administrative Services, Coldspring-Oakhurst ISD, has been named New Super of Snook ISD.

Michael Waldrip, Deputy Superintendent, Frisco ISD, has been named New Super of Coppell ISD.

JR Proctor, HS Principal, Scurry Rosser ISD, has been named New Super of Axtell ISD.

John McCullough, Superintendent, Sulphur Bluff ISD, has been named New Super of North Lamar ISD.

 

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New Super Vega ISD - Dr. Paul Uttley, HS Principal,Stratford ISD; Vega ISD Board of Trustees & Mike JacksonINFO
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New Super Comfort ISD - Leslie Vann, Lamesa ISD CFO,Lamesa ISD; TASB ESS Search Team INFO
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New Super Celeste ISD - Brad Connelly, High School Principal,Leonard ISD; Celeste ISD Board of Trustees & Collin ClarkINFO
New Super Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD - Stetson Roane, Asst. Superintendent,Aransas Pass ISD; Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board of TrusteesINFO
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New Super Region 10 ESC Executive Director - Dr. Gordon Taylor, Associate Director,ESC 10 ; Region 10 ESC INFO
New Super Kingsville ISD - Carol Perez, Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction,Kingsville ISD; Search By TASB Executive Search ServicesINFO

A new entitlement program in Texas?

August 2908:35 AM
 

Recommended read - js  What if I told you there’s a growing group of candidates, legislators, lobbyists and political activists who are proposing a new entitlement program that could cost Texans up to $5 billion per year over the next 10 years? Under the proposed program, each eligible recipient would receive thousands of dollars annually, and by federal law we couldn’t even ask if they’re legal citizens. Once in the program, they could receive the benefits for 13 or more years. view article arw

Templates available for Posting Proposed and Adopted Budgets (both are required)

August 2808:50 AM
 

Got an email  from Woody Brewton yesterday reminding  me about the template for posting budgets that ESC 12 provides for Texas Public districts.  (This is a great service that I really appreciate.)   The ESC 12 folks have developed both the “Proposed” Budget Template” and the “Adopted Budget Template”. You will find them at this link:   NOTICE: Web Posting Requirements for Budgets.  The folks at ESC 12 desire to provide assistance, if needed, but the documents themselves are pretty self explanatory.   - js- webmaster@texasisd.com

PAYTEK - A TEXASISD ENDORSED PRODUCT

August 2508:58 AM
 

PayTek returns lost funds to your budget by electronically recovering bad checks and direct depositing recovered funds on a weekly basis! The service is FREE to the school district, FRIENDLY to the check writer, and recovers your funds FAST. PayTek is currently serving over 80 Texas School Districts! Register Here for a no obligation online presentation! view article arw

TexasISD.com Election Data Collection Project [FORM FIXED]

August 1408:50 AM
 

We are once again collecting data on upcoming Bond Elections and Tax Ratification Elections.  Please take a moment and enter your election information so that we can track the elections and compile state wide data for analysis. view article arw

TexasISD Holiday

August 2909:25 AM
 

In Observance of the Labor Day holiday, TexasISD will not post on Monday, September 1.  Posting will resume on Tuesday, September 2.   

A timeline of Texas school finance court battles

August 2908:41 AM
 

Here's a look at major dates in Texas' school finance debate: view article arw

Statement of Commissioner Michael Williams regarding ruling in school finance case

August 2908:40 AM
 

AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Michael Williams issued the following statement regarding today’s ruling in the school finance case: view article arw

Equity Center: Judge John Dietz Declares Texas Public School Finance System Unconstitutional

August 2908:39 AM
 

State District Court Judge John Dietz issued his final decision today in the landmark public school funding trial, Texas Taxpayers & Student Fairness Coalition, et al. v. Michael Williams, et al.  In his ruling, Judge Dietz found the system to be inequitable, unsuitable, and inadequate in violation of Article VII, §1 of the Texas Constitution. He also found districts do not have meaningful discretion to adopt property tax rates below the statutory maximum, creating, in effect, an unconstitutional state ad valorem tax, in violation of Article VIII, §1-e of the constitution.

Pressure back on legislators as judge rules against school finance system

August 2908:35 AM
 

AUSTIN - A state district judge on Thursday again declared Texas' school finance system unconstitutional, increasing pressure on the Legislature to enact further reforms in its next session. view article arw

Local lawmaker, superintendent react to school funding ruling

August 2908:35 AM
 

The superintendent of one of the largest school districts in Central Texas is ecstatic, while a state lawmaker says a fix of the state's school funding system will be difficult. Waco ISD's Dr. Bonnie Cain hopes Judge John Dietz's ruling Thursday that how Texas funds public schools is unconstitutional will finally result in some changes. "This case has been tried many times and won many times by public schools, but somehow it never gets fixed.  I think ultimately this will be taken to the supreme court (Texas), and the supreme court will also rule in our favor," she said. view article arw

Texas school district feels ‘vindicated’ after school finance ruling

August 2908:35 AM
 

Many Texas schools are still reeling from funding cuts, after the state legislature cut billions from education back in 2011. Districts like Hutto ISD had to make some hard choices over the last few years. They were one of the first districts who got on board with the lawsuit against the state. “Here in Hutto, we are really a family, it’s just like losing family members,” said Dyslexia Specialist, Paul Lister. “Seeing one colleague after another let go because of budget cuts.” view article arw

Judge Declares What Texas Kids Already Know: School Finance System Unconstitutional

August 2908:35 AM
 

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Today District Court Judge John Dietz declared the Texas school finance system to be unconstitutional on the grounds that it is inadequate and inefficient. Read the ruling here.

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October - November 2014

Arm your school's first line of defense, your school secretary, with important and helpful information they can use every day. Provide practical methods for handling issues with legal implications a school's front office frequently confronts. 

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Judge Dietz denies charter school students constitutional protections in latest ruling

August 2908:35 AM
 

(Austin, Texas) -- The Honorable Judge Dietz issued his written ruling this afternoon after nearly two years of trial.   "We agree wholeheartedly with the judge's findings on adequacy. However, the judge got it wrong on specific charter claims, and it's now time for the Texas Supreme Court to get it right," said David Dunn, executive director of the Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA). "Public charter schools have answered the call from parents for more quality education choices and innovative options, but we know that parents aren't willingly choosing to walk away from needed funds for their students. It's unfair to provide the option and not provide the means." view article arw

Texas school funding still unconstitutional

August 2908:35 AM
 

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's office, which had argued that the system was flawed but nonetheless constitutional, said Thursday that the state "will appeal and will defend this law, just as it defends all laws enacted by the Legislature when they are challenged in court." That means the case is likely headed to the Texas Supreme Court.   view article arw

Swelling Districts Find Costly Way to Grow Campuses

August 2908:35 AM
 

In 1994, the Leander school district had 7,200 students and was growing fast. To handle the hundreds of additional students expected in the coming year, the Central Texas district embarked on a building binge, including the construction of its sixth and seventh elementary schools. view article arw

Déjà Vu All Over Again on School Finance

August 2908:35 AM
 

The Tribune's Morgan Smith wrote that Dietz ruled the system ran afoul of the state constitution "not only because of inadequate funding and flaws in the way it distributes money to districts, but also because it imposes a de facto state property tax. Certain to be appealed by the state, the lawsuit that arose after lawmakers cut roughly $5.4 billion from state public education funding in 2011 will now continue to the Texas Supreme Court." view article arw

School funding remains unconstitutional - Comments from Rep. Trent Ashby (R- Lufkin)

August 2908:34 AM
 

State Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) said education should be equal for all children, regardless of where they live.

After parents rally, Midlothian ISD changes course on covering up Christian plaques at two schools

August 2908:34 AM
 

Midlothian ISD officials reversed course Thursday and now say Christian plaques at two elementary schools won't be covered. The turnaround comes after nearly 100 students and parents attended a prayer rally this morning at the school administration building, our colleagues at KXAS-TV (NBC5) report. Superintendent Jerome Stewart held a press conference this afternoon where he said the plaques would not be covered up, after all, and the district would consult outside legal counsel on the matter. view article arw

Extra Public School Funding May Come From Taxpayers

August 2908:34 AM
 

State district Judge John Dietz of Austin ruled Thursday the state’s funding of public schools is unconstitutional. His ruling states Texas isn’t adequately funding  public education or distributing funds evenly among its students. view article arw

Fort Davis slates school election Tuesday

August 2908:34 AM
 

FORT DAVIS – Voters in the Fort Davis Independent School District will go to the polls Tuesday to decide whether to allow the district to add 13 cents to the maintenance and operations tax rate.  If passed, the rate will be set at $1.17 per $100 valuation, the maximum that the state allows if a majority of voters approve. Otherwise, the rate must not exceed $1.04. view article arw

Cleburne:  Voters pass CISD Tax Ratification Election

August 2908:34 AM
 

Based on unofficial results from the Johnson County elections website, the Tax Ratification Election for Cleburne ISD has passed, with 665 votes for and 388 against.  The CISD’s TRE, which was held Tuesday, called for a 13-cent increase in the tax rate to provide additional funding for maintenance and operations.  view article arw

Stage is set for a fight on private school vouchers

August 2908:33 AM
 

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, defeated by state Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston in his Republican primary bid for a fourth term, has handed his nemesis a nicely wrapped gift for the November general election campaign.  He gave Patrick a platform to boost one of his favorite political issues: private school vouchers. view article arw

Critics Charge Local Bond Elections Lack Transparency

August 2908:33 AM
 

It was a powerful lineup of Texas Republicans who joined Comptroller Susan Combs early last year at a state Capitol news conference. Standing alongside the state’s chief financial officer was Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and the Legislature’s chief budget writers, House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts of Waxahachie and Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams of The Woodlands. view article arw

Frenship residents to see 2-cent increase in tax rate

August 2908:15 AM
 

Frenship residents will see about a 2-cent increase on their tax rate this year as a result of the May bond election.  The Frenship Independent School District Board of Trustees approved a budget and a tax rate at its meeting Monday night. view article arw

Texas Education Agency to undergo zero-based budget review

August 2908:15 AM
 

Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, has instructed the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) to include the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in a zero-based budgeting pilot program for the upcoming session. The review will focus on administrative functions, grants and programs but will not include the Foundation School Program. view article arw

Dallas ISD’s proposed use of search firms to find new hires raises cost questions

August 2908:10 AM
 

Some Dallas ISD trustees are concerned with a proposal to hire search firms to fill some positions. A similar deal cost at least $135,000 and up to $170,000 and netted just seven hires, most of whom were principals. view article arw

Copperas Cove ISD passes budget, sets tax rate

August 2907:58 AM
 

In a unanimous vote Thursday night, Copperas Cove Independent School District board members passed the budget for the new school year, cutting expenses across the district. The property tax rate was unchanged at $1.217 per $100 of assessed valuation, with $1.040 per $100 of assessed valuation for maintenance and operations and 17.7 cents per $100 of assessed valuation for debt service. view article arw

Judge Again Declares Texas School Finance System Unconstitutional

August 2907:54 AM
 

State District Judge John Dietz Thursday again declared Texas' school finance system unconstitutional, reaffirming his 2013 decision despite $3.4 billion in extra classroom funding that the Legislature approved last summer. Dietz's written opinion Thursday followed his oral ruling last year that public school funding was inadequate. view article arw

Tyler: We’re cautiously optimistic,’ says TISD superintendent about school finance system ruling

August 2907:51 AM
 

Legislators and public school officials are reacting to a ruling that once again declares the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.  The Austin judge who released that ruling Thursday made a similar decision from the bench in 2013. Both decisions target the so-called "Robin Hood" funding formula, which is used to determine how state funding is distributed to public schools.  view article arw

La Marque: LMISD looks at $22 million budget

August 2907:49 AM
 

The La Marque school district is planning keep the tax rate unchanged and approve an approximately $22 million budget. Trustees will meet today for a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. A meeting to approve the budget and tax rate at 6 p.m. view article arw

Westlake Athletic Center to be built without taxpayer dollars

August 2907:48 AM
 

Eanes ISD Board of Trustees approved a plan Wednesday to build a 60,000- to 70,000-square-foot athletic complex. The district would not have to pay to build the complex that would go on 5.68 acres of district land near Westlake High School. The group Westlake Athletic Center, LLC will pay for the cost of the building, along with maintenance and operations under an initial lease that lasts 35 years. view article arw

Tarkington ISD school board makes one more bid on baseball field renovations

August 2907:47 AM
 

The Tarkington ISD school board has approved bidding out the renovation of the district’s baseball field. According to Superintendent Kevin Weldon, Tarkington ISD is currently fixing some of the issues with the ball field, such as the lighting and drainage; however they hope to hire renovators for other areas in need of improvement. view article arw