TexasISD article of the day - js - The only bill that must pass the Legislature is the two-year state budget, and more often than not it turns into a test of will between the House and Senate leadership—and if the preliminary budget proposals laid out by the chambers on Tuesday are any indication, the game is once again afoot. But this time House Speaker Joe Straus put pressure on the tax-cutting reputation of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick by including $1.5 billion in the House plan for potential property tax relief. view article arw

New Template from Omar

January 1808:41 AM
 

A new template (release 6 dated 1/4/17) is now available for download. Please read the ‘Notes’ tab carefully for the changes made and stay tuned. view article arw

Millions Saved by Iola ISD

January 2008:10 AM
 

The taxpayers within the Iola Independent School District will have something new to celebrate this holiday season after the board voted to refinance $9,030,000 in outstanding Series 2009 bonds. According to district superintendent Chad Jones, the resulting savings will total $2,869,467. view article arw

Bullard Independent School District played the part of host for local school board members, as well as members of the East Texas community, to have an opportunity to learn about and discuss the upcoming session of the Texas legislature and its impact on Texas Public Education, among other topics, at the Legislative Summit event, held Thursday, Jan. 12, at Bullard Elementary School.  The purpose of the event was to allow school board members, local community members, and school superintendents to hear and discuss thoughts on key issues facing school district across the state.  “Bullard ISD was very pleased with the turnout for the 2017 Legislative Summit event,” said Laura Jones, Bullard ISD Director of Communications. “We had representation from over 13 school districts, as well as Region 7, in attendance, and received wonderful insight from three experts in their fields regarding how the 85th Texas legislative session will impact public education in the state of Texas.”  School districts with representatives in attendance at the event included Alto, Bullard, Greenville, Henderson, Jacksonville, Lindale, Martins Mill, Nacogdoches, Overton, Palestine, Region 7 ESC, Tyler, Westwood, and Whitehouse. view article arw

Emotions ran high Tuesday night outside the Gregory-Portland ISD building even before the board of trustees took up the issue of a proposed Exxon-Mobil ethylene cracker plant in San Patricio County.  With only a yard separating them, project supporters wore green shirts while opponents wore red shirts and surgical masks. view article arw

The U.S. Department of Education is giving a shout out to H-town's teachers, schools and students.  Several Houston schools were recently nominated for the 2017 national Blue Ribbon honor, an award that recognizes schools for their academic excellence.  On the list, Eastwood Academy and Lyons Elementary School of Houston ISD, KIPP Shine Prep of KIPP Houston, Jennie Reid Elementary School of La Porte ISD, and Montgomery Intermediate School of Montgomery ISD. view article arw

Awesome article by John Kuhn - js  John Kuhn was the superintendent of the small Perrin-Whitt school district in Texas and was recently named superintendent of schools in Mineral Wells, Texas. He is also one of the best informed, most eloquent critics of corporate reform in the nation. He was a lead speaker at the 2011 Save Our Schools March on Washington, where he electrified the crowd. He has recently published two books: Fear and Learning in America and Test and Punish: How the Texas Education Model Gave America Accountability Without Equity. Kuhn says that the Texas A-F school grading system sets up schools that enroll poor kids to fail; A stands for “Affluent.” view article arw

Repost  - An excellent point "From The EC Express" -  read more arw

Lower-than-expected kindergarten enrollment has left the Bryan school district with a funding shortfall for the 2016-2017 school year and uncertainty about how to make up the deficit.  According to a financial report presented to the Bryan school board recently, district officials anticipated a 1.7 percent increase in student enrollment when setting the 2016-2017 budget based on historical trends and up-to-date demographic studies. But based on actual enrollment, Amy Drozd, assistant superintendent of business services, said the district's student population is about half of a percent higher than last year's primarily because the district is teaching fewer kindergarteners than expected.  The report said this school year's weighted average daily attendance will likely be 225 students lower than the district planned. Because school district funding is based largely on attendance, the result is a $1.1 million difference in state revenue over what was projected. view article arw

Extend ASATR - State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) has proposed new legislation which she says will protect the financial future of almost 200 school districts across Texas. view article arw

What we reported Frisco ISD held a tax ratification election in August asking voters to approve a 13-cent increase to the district’s tax rate, which voters turned down. According to district officials, the increase would have generated enough revenue to cover the $30.6 million that FISD is estimated to lose from the elimination of a special fund called Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction. view article arw

When Superintendent Michael Hinojosa hired Scott Layne from Irving ISD four months ago to become Dallas ISD's chief operations officer, he tasked Layne with looking at the district's 2015 bond program and "see where we were." The landscape isn't pretty. DISD has far more needs than resources, and construction costs for schools across the Dallas/Fort Worth area are through the roof. view article arw

Some Fort Bend ISD parents and former students are disappointed after learning the district plans to cut some of its agriculture classes in the 2017/2018 school year. Alex Jurica is a former agriculture student at Ridge Point High School who is now studying animal sciences at Texas A&M University. view article arw

Read!  AUSTIN — State leaders and lawmakers may feel Texans’ pain when it comes to rising local property taxes, but they’re also getting some gain from the increases as they prepare to write the state budget. Because of the way formulas for public school finances work, the state’s share of paying for education goes down when local school property tax values go up.  The calculation means that lawmakers who meet in regular session starting this month should have nearly $2 billion more in state money to spend in other areas because they won’t have to put it into schools. view article arw

COPPERAS COVE, TX (KXXV) - Despite budget cuts and major reductions in impact aid to school districts across the country, Copperas Cove ISD received a clean audit and has been deemed financially sound. As mandated by the state, the District’s Annual Financial Report must be approved by the Board of Trustees and submitted to the Texas Education Agency by Jan. 31, 2017, said Glenn Graham, CCISD Executive Director of Business Services. view article arw

Texas lawmakers are about to spend a lot of time talking about how the state funds its public schools. The question is: Will they make any changes during the legislative session that starts in January?  If they don’t, there’s a part of the system that’s set to expire next year. That could be a problem for some school districts across the state. view article arw

Port Aransas School District officials have a message for state officials, they want more funding.  view article arw

The resilience of the Texas economy with the end of the oil surge has surprised many, and prospects for continued expansion are encouraging. For the first 11 months of 2016, the state added 164,000 positions, exceeding the pace of 2015 (with 140,400 net new jobs over the first 11 months).  In September, Texas experienced the strongest employment gain in more than two years (up by 38,300), with hiring continuing since that time and 20,900 net new jobs added according to the latest data release (November). Expansion has occurred in most industry segments. view article arw

A new Texas education commissioner vowed to crack down on district and campus accountability, a drawn-out court case over school finance ended and federal officials began investigating an alleged cap on special education services in Texas school districts — those are among the highlights of the year 2016 in Texas public education. view article arw

Longview ISD is giving teachers more than $720,000 in merit-based bonuses today as part of its Longview Incentive for Teachers Pay for Performance Award program. The teacher and campus personnel incentive pay is given as a reward for good performance during the 2015-16 school year. The pay is awarded annually to campuses and teachers whose students showed significant growth in the previous school year. To be eligible to receive the award, teachers must meet certain criteria, such as having an attendance rate of at least 97 percent. view article arw

Paxton sued the district earlier Thursday, seeking a restraining order to allow the display to go back up on Friday -- the last day of school this semester. In his ruling, the judge said that adding the disclaimer to the display would clear up any perceived endorsement of religion by the district. In his suit, Paxton characterized the decision as "censorship" and asked a judge to allow the display to be put back up view article arw

When Abilene Independent School District trustees adopted its 2016-17 budget in August, administrators proposed a deficit spending plan. view article arw

GISD earns superior financial rating

December 1408:15 AM
 

Gainesville Independent School District received a rating of “Superior Achievement” under Texas’ Schools FIRST financial accountability rating system. view article arw

Teachers, parents, school administrators and students will all be watching closely this next session to see if Texas lawmakers work to reform the way the state funds public education.   view article arw

The Local Government Purchasing Cooperative Board has announced a distribution of approximately $6.9 million to 994 of its members. This action is a result of continuing growth in the Cooperative’s annual purchasing volume and membership, and brings the total amount rebated to members at just over $33.5 million since 2006. The Cooperative was created in 1998 to increase the purchasing power of government entities and to simplify their purchasing by using a customized electronic purchasing system, called the BuyBoard. view article arw

The Plano ISD Board of Trustees again discussed the state’s recapture efforts Tuesday. approved the property tax roll, the board members continued to educate residents about where their money goes. view article arw

Six months ahead of approving its budget, Dallas ISD gave an early look of its expected financial challenges — and hopeful district-wide goals — for the 2017-18 school year.  During a board briefing on Thursday, DISD's chief financial officer, Jim Terry, presented a "very, very preliminary" glimpse at the upcoming budget. view article arw

As you look back on Texas and government since the 1980s, what are the biggest hits and misses?  Two big issues changed dramatically: workers' compensation and tort reform. In workers' comp, we went from one of the most expensive states to one of the least expensive. That happened while I was in the Legislature. Then in 2002, Republicans had the majority in both houses, and several coalitions worked together to bring massive tort reform to Texas.  The biggest disappointment is that we haven’t moved the needle enough on education. So many Latinos don’t graduate ready for college or careers, and they’ll make up a majority of the workforce eventually. We’re not paying enough attention to this. (paywalled) view article arw

Some suburban school districts continue to support Dallas County Schools, the agency providing busing services to many North Texas school districts, despite tardiness complaints and safety concerns including an increase in bus crashes and drivers recorded running red lights. view article arw

The highest-poverty school districts in Texas receive 11 percent less funding than wealthier districts. That’s according to a new policy brief from the Center for Education Research and Policy Studies, CERPS, where I work, at the University of Texas El Paso College of Education. view article arw

Members of stakeholder committee for Frisco ISD’s priorities-based budget development met for the third time Tuesday evening. The committee, which is made up of community members and FISD staff, has been meeting since the end of October. The committee along with the steering committee and working group, made up of district officials, are helping FISD create a balanced budget for the 2017-18 school year. view article arw

On #GivingTuesday, donors would normally think of giving to charities, but this year the Austin Independent School District is asking for donations. Austin Ed Fund, a nonprofit education foundation that supports AISD schools, started a $20,000 donation page on edbacker Tuesday. view article arw

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — The Travis County Commissioners Court is banking on current grazing land in north Texas to help raise funds for local schools.  Commissioner Brigid Shea, who represents Precinct 2, said the county decided to move forward with a solar energy lease on the county-owned property because it could potentially generate $6 to $8 million for local schools over time. The proposal is a 25-year lease that may result in $250,000 of annual revenue for Travis County students in public schools. view article arw

On Oct. 19, the Plano City Council and the Plano ISD board of trustees held a joint work session during which they shared their goals for the upcoming legislative session. view article arw