The Manor Independent School District is out $2.3 million after falling prey to a phishing scam. The district on Friday said the Manor Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating. view article arw

The FBI is investigating after Manor school district officials said Friday that $2.3 million had been stolen from the district in a email phishing scam, according to the district.  Manor police are assisting in the investigation. The district said there are “strong leads in the case,” but asked anyone with information to call Manor police at 512-215-8035. view article arw

Introduction: Promoted as an “education reform” to improve the learning of economically disadvantaged students, the Texas Legislature and the Commissioner of Education have been approving the expansion of privately-operated charters (“charters”) across the State of Texas. Charters are taxpayer funded, privately managed organizations that the State approves to independently operate schools in locally governed school districts. As such, charters are free to aggressively recruit students to garner the per student taxpayer funding of $10,525 from local school districts. The privatization of Texas public schools is big business. Charters will receive $3.28 billion of taxpayer funding this year. But the State does not regulate the recruiting tactics of charters and the State does not consider the best interests of students, families and taxpayers as it approves charters to rapidly expand in local communities. For example, the State is approving charters with “C” academic ratings to expand in school districts that have State provided academic ratings of “A”. view article arw

This afternoon, the Dallas Independent School District’s Board of Trustees learned of a new way to use millions of dollars of bond money: spend it on public services that are not found within a two-mile radius around some of its neediest schools. The strategy is radically different than the typical approach to a school district’s bond, which doles out money to campuses based on facility need. In fact, it doesn’t seem any school district in the nation has tried this before. view article arw

Brian Woods, Live from txEDCON19

January 0608:30 AM

Northside ISD Superintendent Dr. Brian Woods sat down with us to discuss leadership, accountability, equity, and advocacy. The 2018 Superintendent of the Year gives advice on how school boards and superintendents can work well together, the issues with A-F Accountability, and what public school advocates should focus on in the legislative interim. view article arw

For the first time since 2014-15, McKinney ISD will have to get voters' permission for the process it uses to make recapture payments. The McKinney school board voted Dec. 17 to place a measure on the May 2 ballot so voters can decide whether to pay the recapture payment through purchasing attendance credits. Recapture payments are used to redistribute funds from property-wealthy districts to those that are not as wealthy to encourage equity among schools. The district has been paying its recapture fees this way since 2014-15, a process as long as the amount of state aid received exceeded its recapture payment. view article arw

It's the season for giving and a former Conroe ISD student did just that, by giving to his alma mater. On Tuesday, Conroe ISD announced that a graduate from Conroe High School donated funds totaling over $7,000 to pay off the lunch debts of Washington Jr. High and Conroe High School students. view article arw

For the first time since 2015, the Dallas Independent School District received a rating increase by Standard & Poors (S&P) Global to AA+, one notch below the highest possible rating. The district previously held steady at a AA rating over the last four years. Additionally, S&P Global Ratings assigned its ‘AAA’ long-term and ‘AA+’ underlying ratings to Dallas ISD’S unlimited-tax school building bonds, series 2019. view article arw

Beaumont ISD received a superior ranking on its annual financial management report for the first time since 2013. It was a continued sign of financial stability after the district reported a clean audit earlier this year. The annual review — mandated by the Texas Education Agency and known as the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas — consists of 15 indicators. view article arw

Winters Independent School District officials announced that the district received a rating of “A” for “Superior Achievement” under Texas’ School FIRST financial accountability rating system. The “Superior Achievement” rating is the state’s highest, demonstrating the quality of Winters ISD’s financial management and reporting system. This is the 17th year of School FIRST (Financial Accountability Rating System of Texas), a financial accountability system for Texas school districts developed by the Texas Education Agency in response to Senate Bill 875 of the 76th Texas Legislature in 1999 and amendments under House Bill 5, 83rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2013. view article arw

Rusk ISD OKs security plans

December 1608:30 AM

Plans for physical and security improvements throughout Rusk ISD were unanimously approved by school board members Monday during their regular meeting. According to Superintendent Grey Burton, the project entails improving the driveways and parking lots at the junior high and high school campuses, beginning when the current school year ends, under the direction of Nacogdoches contractor Namco, Inc. view article arw

Members of the Longview ISD community will have a chance to voice their opinions Monday on two reports to trustees. The board will host a public hearing as part of its regular board meeting at 6 p.m. at the Education Support Center at 1301 E. Young St. view article arw

Public schools in Texas spent an estimated $68.8 billion during the 2018-19 academic year, a 0.7 percent increase in expenditures over the previous year, according to a National Education Association report. The change in education expenditures in Texas ranked the sixth lowest among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the NEA said. The state’s public education system spent $68.3 billion during the 2017-18 school year. view article arw

One of the most politically heated battles the Dallas school board has undertaken in recent years was the decision to transform some classrooms into charters. Parents and teachers crowded meetings for months urging the board to not “privatize” any part of DISD by handing control over to outsiders. Trustees argued amongst themselves late into the evening — and well into the early morning hours — before finally agreeing earlier this year to create partnerships that allow private operators to run some DISD prekindergarten classes as charters. view article arw

Public schools in Texas spent $10,783 per student based on average daily attendance (ADA) figures, the 13th lowest expenditure level among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to a National Education Association report.  The change in public school expenditures per student based on ADA data from 2016-17 to 2017-18 stood at 5.91 percent, the NEA said. view article arw

Texas pre-K programs are just scraping by after losing millions of dollars last year — and without sustainable funding, they could see greater problems down the line, school officials say. During the 2017 legislative session, lawmakers decided not to fund a $118 million high-quality pre-K grant program that was created in 2015 and championed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. The money had gone to 573 districts and charter schools that pledged to meet measures such as setting a lower student-teacher ratio, avoiding Common Core curricula and reporting student progress to the state. view article arw

Burnet school district officials were probably expecting to get more than two years from the synthetic turf installed at Bulldog Field in 2015, but that didn’t happen and it’s now set the district back $150,000. Burnet Consolidated Independent School District Superintendent Keith McBurnett, however, said the district is looking to get $105,000 back from one manufacturer. Last year, officials noticed some turf fibers sticking up higher than others, so they took a closer look, McBurnett said. “To most people, it probably wasn’t noticeable,” he said. “We had all the experts look at the field, and they looked at the backside. It needed to be replaced.” view article arw

On Saturday, voters who live within the Houston ISD will go to the polls to determine how - or if - the district will pay the state millions in "recapture" fees. Whatever voters decide on Proposition 1, the Houston ISD will take a financial hit, officials say. Recapture, and school finance, can be difficult to grasp. To help, here are the answers to some questions about the ballot measure. view article arw

The Round Rock school district awarded $1.9 million in grants to 34 campuses to help foster innovation in schools through programs, models or initiatives that enrich learning. The grants range from $7,500 to $100,000 and support the district’s strategic goal of implementing, enhancing and reinforcing innovative teachings and learning models, according to a district news release. view article arw

Fort Bend ISD is going to begin serving up something different for some students who continually fail to pay for their lunches -- a cold cheese sandwich with a side of milk, and that's not sitting well with some parents. We're not talking about students who qualify for free school meals. But apparently, these repeat offenders have gotten so "forgetful" that it's draining the district's budget by hundreds of thousands of dollars. view article arw

The Garland school district’s $453.8 million budget for 2015-16 passed this week. Here are the highlights: Taxes are going up: There’s a 10-cent per $100 valuation tax increase tied to theNovember 2014 passage of a $455 million bond package. Garland ISD previously had the second-lowest tax rate among 16 districts that tax in Dallas County; the bond will bring that closer to the midpoint. view article arw

The Lampasas Independent School District met Monday to discuss the district’s fiscal year 2016 budget and proposed tax rates. “My idea was still to give everyone a tax break, but to make it 1 cent right now, and we could change it in a year if we need to,” board member Sam Walker said. “I think we are jumping the gun by dropping it 2 cents.” view article arw

Marfa ISD is taking a proactive approach toward its potential Chapter 41 status, which would classify the district as a “rich” school. Chief Financial Officer Victoria Sanchez discussed with the board of trustees at the June 15 meeting five different options they could possibly choose for the Chapter 41 status and heavily stressed that the board should consider each option carefully as three of them would have permanent repercussions. view article arw

The Dallas Independent School District presented a draft version of a comprehensive plan for facilities and academic improvement to the board of trustees on Thursday. The long-range plan, which calls for $1.5 billion in funding, would be directed at school choice, pre-k expansion and career readiness, according to DISD officials. view article arw

Duncanville ISD thought it was getting a great deal when, one year ago this month, it switched electric providers and signed on with the State Power Program through the state's General Land Office. Just like that, Duncanville ISD's price-per-kilowatt hour dropped almost 20 percent, from 7.3 cents to a maximum of 6 cents. view article arw

Comal ISD paying off debt early

September 0208:05 AM

The Comal Independent School District is paying off bond debt early in an effort to save taxpayers money. The district's board of trustees voted Thursday night to pay off $6.5 million in bond debt ahead of schedule. view article arw