Claycomb Associates, Architects

Crosby ISD lays off 129 employees

October 1806:28 AM

Superintendent Dr. Scott Davis says the layoffs have been difficult and necessary, adding, "I can tell you with resounding conviction that the sacrifices made by so many will not be in vain."  Of the 129 employees, 34 voluntarily resigned or retired.  Superintendent Dr. Scott Davis says the layoffs have been difficult and necessary, adding, “I can tell you with resounding conviction that the sacrifices made by so many will not be in vain.”  Below is Crosby ISD’s full statement: view article arw

A recurring theme heard from various candidates who are running for election this November, is the candidates’ professed support for both giving teachers a raise while admonishing school districts to become more efficient in how they spend their tax dollars. Perhaps these statements stem from a lack of understanding as to how school finance works in Texas. It is an overly complicated system which the State Supreme Court has called byzantine and urged the Legislature to streamline. As a school board trustee, along with my colleagues I must approve a balanced budget and a tax rate to support that budget each year. In order to form a considered opinion and cast an informed vote, I have had to learn the basics of public school finance. view article arw

Parents and other taxpayers often focus on just one part of our school-finance system -- how much money school districts send back to the state as part of the recapture or "Robin Hood" program. This often criticized element of our school finance system redistributes locally collected property taxes to the state to help fund lower-wealth districts and charter schools.  It's important to know, however, that recapture is just a tiny piece of the broader challenges with our school finance system. It is primarily an innovative system to boost court-ordered equity in education. view article arw

At least 34 teachers and other contract-based employees in Crosby ISD will lose their jobs in the coming weeks after the northeast Houston-area’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday to institute mid-year layoffs amid a full-blown financial crisis.Combined with those who resigned or retired after officials in August announced the district’s dire financial situation, about 57 contracted employees have left the district this school year. view article arw

Brock ISD approves financial audit

October 1708:25 AM

The Brock ISD board of trustees approved the 2017-18 financial audit at their regular meeting Monday at Brock High School. The annual audit reflects that the district has increased fund balance by about $700,000, Chief Financial Officer Mike McSwain said. The audit is mainly consistent with previous years, he said. “It’s a balancing act between adding to fund balance and putting funds in the classroom for kids, which is what the school district’s job is,” McSwain said. view article arw

Henderson ISD was involved in an elaborate email scheme that cost them more than $600,000. Currently local authorities and the United States Secret Service are looking into this matter. The district announced they had been a victim of a business email compromise (BEC) scheme on October 1. Unlike common scams like gift card scams and IRS scams, the school district was hit hard and lost more than $609,000 view article arw

There is a chart on page 205 of the newest edition of a wonky and essential Texas government publication called “Fiscal Size-Up: 2018-19 Biennium.” You might not be running to look it up — only a particular order of nerds do that — but these numbers from the Legislative Budget Board are going to be the centerpiece of a lot of conversations and arguments over school finance for the next two years. That agency, currently co-chaired by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus, has been producing the reports since 1952 to give lawmakers a periodic look at where things stand in the state’s budget. view article arw

Financial scammers stole more than $600,000 from Henderson ISD through a sophisticated, yet common, fraud scheme. According to HISD’s financial records, on Sept. 26, the district initiated a $609,615.24 direct electronic bank payment (known as an Automated Clearing House or ACH) to RPR Construction Company Inc. The firm is overseeing the construction at Lions Stadium and renovation work at the former Chamberlain Elementary School. However, on Oct. 1, the district’s business department staff discovered the funds were mistakenly transferred to a fraudulent account instead of RPR’s bank account. Administrators soon realized HISD was the target of a Business Email Compromise (BEC) scheme. view article arw

The Crosby ISD in northeast Houston isn’t that far from Southeast Texas, but apparently its trustees and administrators didn’t notice the state takeover of the Beaumont ISD in 2014 for financial and operational chaos. We say that because the Crosby ISD has just earned the dubious distinction of becoming the 16th public school district in Texas since 2012 to declare a financial emergency. The district will now undergo mid-school-year layoffs and other severe restrictions simply to avoid falling apart. view article arw

Nine candidates are vying for three positions on the Conroe ISD board of trustees and will be on the ballot in the Nov. 6 election. Candidates Kathleen Harmatuk-Swisher, Dale Inman, Paul K. Piper Jr. and Theresa Wagaman are running for board of trustees Position 1, a position currently held by board President Melanie Bush who is not seeking re-election this year. Bush is running for county treasurer. view article arw

The city staffers and developers who have helped shape downtown Waco in recent years have December 2022 circled on their calendars. It is when Waco Independent School District leaves the downtown Tax Increment Financing Reinvestment Zone, along with its annual contribution of some $7 million. The fund’s annual revenue is expected to drop from $14.7 million to $7.1 million the year the district departs, and city leaders are weighing how to prioritize spending before the drop. view article arw

Amid a 5-year enrollment growth of more than 20 percent, Hutto ISD scored among the top of all school districts in Texas in the state’s Financial Integrity Rating System, the district announced Thursday night. Hutto ISD received a “superior” rating in the financial accountability test, scoring 96 points out of a possible 100. view article arw

A Houston-area school district has declared that it's facing an official financial emergency, becoming the 16th district since 2012 to inform the state it's facing such a crisis. Trustees for Crosby Independent School District adopted a resolution Monday that established the financial emergency and the need to cut staff. view article arw

Today’s Texas economy is doing great—and education, well, not so much. In 2017, the economy of Texas was the second-largest in the U.S. and ranked first for current economic climate thanks to strong employment.  Strong economies—from the rolling plains to the high-rises—depend on a qualified workforce. Society has developed, adopted and scaled an incredible range of technological innovation that has transformed our world. However, economists predict that continuing advances in technology will reward education and the skills necessary to maintain steady employment. view article arw

The North East Independent School District is closing one of its elementary schools at the end of the school year and turning it into a preschool. Trustees voted Monday night to close West Avenue Elementary and replace it with the district’s first all-day pre-k center. At a parent meeting last week, NEISD Superintendent Brian Gottardy told community members that only 60 percent of the school is being used, increasing the operating costs of the district. view article arw

Teachers and support staff will soon be laid off at Crosby Independent School District to slash about $5.5 million from spending this year. "I think that (the school board) failed us," David Givans said. Givans' daughter started school in Crosby this year and he's deeply concerned about the district's financial crisis.   view article arw

In a room full of concerned employees, parents and community members, the Crosby ISD Board of Trustees declared financial exigency and announced that the district has already begun notifying staff of potential layoffs. Superintendent Scott Davis read a resolution stating the school district “faces a significant shortage of financial resources,” during a special meeting on Monday, Oct. 8. Trustees voted unanimously Monday evening to approve the resolution. view article arw

Texas school districts received A-F letter ratings from Texas Education Agency for the first time this fall, and Spring and Klein ISDs follow the statewide trends in which more affluent districts and campuses generally fare better than those with high levels of economic disadvantage. According to TEA, three of SISD’s economically disadvantaged campuses would have received an Improvement Required rating if the district had not received an exemption due to Hurricane Harvey, and all but three SISD campuses are more economically disadvantaged than the state average, 58.7 percent. Although it was not rated in 2017-18 due to Harvey, SISD would have received a C rating overall. view article arw

Crosby ISD on Monday became the 16th Texas school district to declare an official financial emergency since 2012, a move that will allow officials to institute mid-year layoffs in an effort to keep the northeast Houston-area school district financially solvent. view article arw

Almost 4 percent of Transformation Waco students requested to transfer out of the newly formed in-district charter this school year. As of mid-September, 95 students requested to leave one of Transformation Waco’s schools: Alta Vista Elementary School, Brook Avenue Elementary School, J.H. Hines Elementary School, G.W. Carver Middle School and Indian Spring Middle School. view article arw

Texas is a prosperous state, but lawmakers are failing to adequately finance public education and communities and students are suffering the academic, physical and economic consequences. The upcoming legislative session provides a unique opportunity for our state’s elected leaders to right past wrongs, but a preliminary budget request from the Texas Education Agency projects a $3.5 billion decline in state funding over the next few years. view article arw

Peaster ISD board of trustees listened and asked questions during trainings about school finance and bonds at their meeting Thursday at the Peaster ISD Administration Building. The purpose of the trainings were to help trustees understand how finance works moving forward, Peaster ISD Superintendent Matt Adams said. He said he hopes the sessions spurred questions and ideas on the topics for trustees. “That’s just one of the many aspects of our jobs, or at least my job as superintendent, is to try to bring people in and to keep the board as informed as possible when it relates to school finance and school structure, so that they have as much information available to make good decisions,” Adams said. view article arw

Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced today that a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting has been awarded to the Texas Permanent School Fund for its comprehensive annual financial report for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2017.  Awarded by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA), the Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting. GFOA representatives say the certificate represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.  view article arw

It's hard to overstate how dire the financial situation is in Crosby ISD. The board could vote on whether to declare an official financial emergency, or financial exigency, on Oct. 8. If trustees agree, it would be only the 13th of more than 1,200 Texas school districts to do so since 2012. Superintendent Scott Davis already has ordered each department to slash spending by 60 percent. He warned mid-year layoffs are imminent. The Texas Education Agency has asked the district for a financial solvency plan, and without drastic cost-cutting measures, Davis said "the very existence of Crosby ISD could be called into question." view article arw

The comptroller's office has withdrawn its proposed rule change related to requesting property value audits under TAC 9.103.   view article arw

Repost!  Several years ago, Texas cut roughly $33 million in special education funding. Today, the state will face off with the U.S. Department of Education in a federal appeals court over whether that decision violated federal law. Here’s what you need to know:  view article arw

“Vouchers are corrupt. It’s a failed idea,” said the Rev. Charles Foster Johnson of government programs that allow parents to use taxpayer money to pay for tuition at private or religious schools.  The Baptist minister from Fort Worth is founder of Pastors for Texas Children, and on Tuesday launched a four-day, five-stop statewide speaking tour in Chattanooga. Since its founding in 2013, his nonprofit group has mobilized more than 2,000 Texas pastors and faith leaders to help stall voucher bills in that state’s legislature. He hopes to do the same in Tennessee. view article arw

Click here for the presentation  view article arw

After arguing its case in a federal appeals court Wednesday, Texas will soon know whether its decision to spend $33.3 million less on students with disabilities in 2012 will cost it millions in future federal funding. The U.S. Department of Education is attempting to withhold that same amount from Texas in special education grants, saying a 1997 statute prohibits states from reducing their funding for kids with disabilities from year to year. Texas appealed that determination to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, claiming the federal statute is vague and the penalty should not be enforced. view article arw

Representatives with the area’s small Christian, public and alternatives schools gave attendees of the State of the Small Schools Luncheon an in depth look at their respective campuses.  After joining with the Brownwood Chamber of Commerce for the State of the School Luncheon, the Early Chamber of Commerce held a small school luncheon to give area superintendents, principals and other district representatives an opportunity to address the public and inform them of the new events and issues currently effecting their campuses. view article arw

New Template!  As State Funding changes the Web SOF, I will updated the side-by-side template to reflect these changes. Be sure to use the latest revision of the template and Web SOF. - Woody  Link to 2018-19 LPE-DPE Template  read more arw

Monday’s Trustee meeting included a packed room, four citizen’s comments, extensive discussion of dire finances and a Superintendent’s report of what the state of the finances are, what needs to be done and how the district will get to the point of solvency to avoid being taken over by the State. Dr. Scott Davis, Superintendent of Crosby ISD, and recently-hired Chief Financial Officer, Lesa Jones, presented an overview of the District’s current financial state. view article arw

Stuart Snow has served as the chief financial officer of Cy-Fair ISD for more than 10 years. In this role, Snow is responsible for all financial and fiscal matters of the district—including budgeting, financial accounting and reporting, bond sales to finance capital projects, payroll and employee benefits, property insurance, risk management, cash management and working with a legislative delegation regarding school finance issues. He also oversees districtwide technology—including network infrastructure, the email system, the telephone system and wireless connectivity—to more than 100 district facilities. view article arw