2016 Tax Rates

February 0608:40 AM

UPDATED Please click here and verify your 16-17 tax rate. If you find any errors please email webmaster@texasisd.com.  view article arw

Grade school students in Texas stated their STAAR exams Tuesday. Parents standing against what they say is "high-stakes tasting" met with KHOU 11 New for the first day of what’s called "Opt Out Academy." Instead of taking the STAAR, about a dozen students sat inside the halls of Kindred Lutheran Church in Montrose listening to retired HISD teacher, Judy Hoffhien. “Oh, I like those two words, friendship and quietness,” said Hoffhein during a class orientation. Alicia Verdier is an Opt Out Academy Organizer. Verdier is part of the larger Houston-based group, Community Voices For Public Education. “We have problems that are beyond just teaching to the test,” Verdier said. “We have problems with the test itself and the way that it’s taught and the way it’s administered.” view article arw

Officers with the Center Police Department arrested an 18-year-old man on March 24 in connection to allegations that he and his younger brother, who is a juvenile, burned their mentally challenged 12-yesar-old sister with hot sticks that had been put in a fire. The 18-year-old and his brother are also accused of engaging in organized criminal activity by recruiting gang members at a Center ISD campus, according to an arrest affidavit. view article arw

The power of advocacy

March 3007:45 AM

If we ever wondered about the power of advocacy, legislation introduced by the chairmen of both the Senate and the House should reinforce the need to continue to push for sound legislative policy relating to public education. Last week, Senate Education Committee chairman Larry Taylor and House Public Education Committee chairman Dan Huberty introduced bills targeting the A-F grading system scheduled to be put in place in the 2018-2019 school year. And while it is obviously too early to know what impact either will have, the fact that this topic is on the table speaks volumes for advocacy efforts. view article arw

Students with the Iraan Track & Field teams are collecting donations to help another Texas high school that is recovering from a deadly bus crash. The students are asking for donations of bottles of Gatorade or Powerade for the Mount Pleasant track teams, who were involved in a crash Thursday night. The team was driving back to school when their bus was involved in a crash with a truck. An assistant coach on the bus and the driver of the truck died, and 18 students and another assistant coach were injured. view article arw

A town rocked by scandal is beginning to heal. A large gathering turned out for a prayer service Tuesday evening in La Vernia after nine students were charged with sexual assault. Police said the suspects are athletes and did the acts while hazing teammates.About 150 people gathered in a park across from the high school where the arrests happened. Easter eggs they held contained messages of hope for the town of about 1,250 inhabitants. view article arw

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) recently awarded Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (PSJA) a $332,567 Texas Industry Cluster Innovative Academies Grant to fund the district's new Welding Innovative Academy at PSJA Early College High School, servicing all students districtwide interested in a career in welding. The grant will help the school district purchase the necessary equipment to expand its current welding program. Through the PSJA Welding Innovative Academy, 36 rising juniors interested in pursuing a career in welding will engage in a one-year dual-enrollment program. Students will pursue a South Texas College Level I Certification and Associate Degree to prepare them for positions in the following areas: shielded metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding and flux cored arc welding. In addition, graduate candidates will be eligible to take a welder performance qualification test in accordance with the American Welding Society. read more arw

For several months, if not years, the Buffalo ISD Board has been planning and designing The Casey Ag Facility. The construction job recently went out for bids and costs came back considerably higher than the original budget. Superintendent Freeman suggested that he act as General Contractor and gather the sub-contractors bids. This should save enough to bring the budget to an acceptable sum. view article arw

Spring football is set to begin for many high school football teams in West Texas but Midland Lee is an exception.  "Our kids trust us and we trust them," said coach Clint Hartman of the decision his staff made recently. "We're fine." Last year, Coach Hartman was the new guy in town, and after a three win campaign in 2016, he's looking to make some waves.  Those waves, begin in the spring, by canceling out spring football.  Hartman said there was a lot that went into the decision, but in the end, he did what he thinks is best for his team. view article arw

When Plano’s school trustees review district finances, the staff sometimes compares the district’s spending levels to those of similar districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. At a recent meeting of trustees and staff, this resulted in a surprise for some board members: Plano ISD ranked last among eight local peer districts in extracurricular spending per student. view article arw

Alice ISD Superintendent Dr. Grace Everett and fellow administrators were recognized Monday, March 20 by Alice Mayor Ike Ornelas. Ornelas read a proclamation recognizing March 20th as Dr. Everett Day for the hard work and dedication she has provided to the district while creating and committing to a better community. The mayor also recognized Alice ISD staff who participated in the 5th annual Family Engagement Conference. view article arw

School districts across East Texas are showing their support for Mount Pleasant ISD. Pittsburg ISD is wearing black and gold in honor of the district. On Thursday a horrific crash involving an 18-wheeler, took the life of Angelica Beard. Beard was a track team coach at Mount Pleasant High School. The crash also left several students and coaches injured. Mount Pleasant ISD Superintendent, Judd Marshall, says the remaining student has been released from the hospital and coaches Van Bowen and Ryan Stanage are both recovering after surgery. view article arw

 In all areas of the strategic plan, the school district continues to make progress. To highlight that positive movement, school board members heard an update on the facilities portion of the Re-Imagine 2021 five-year Strategic Plan Tuesday evening. It’s all part of Superintendent Dr. Adrian Vega’s plan to get the district on the straight track to success. view article arw

Gilmer teachers seeking professional development opportunities may benefit from a recent grant to the school district. A $10,000 Good Neighbor Citizenship Grant, recently awarded to the district by State Farm, was formally presented at Monday’s school board meeting by local agent Henry Troell. Gilmer ISD requested the grant to help implement more high-quality training for teachers.    view article arw

Rogers Independent School District principals Lucinda Smith and Lee Vi Moses were both named Region 12 Outstanding Middle School and High School Principal of the Year, respectively. Smith leads Rogers Middle School and Moses heads Rogers High School. The honor was given by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals. view article arw

Temple schools have been using a new counseling system to reduce discipline problems and improve relationships. Nancy Preston, director of counseling for Temple Independent School District, presented the new program to the TISD board Monday. The district began implementing the program last year. It is in effect at three elementary schools: Western Hills, Jefferson and Garcia. view article arw

Mick Mulvaney from the Office of Management and Budget recently claimed there is no evidence that after-school programs are effective. He said this to justify a budget that eliminates funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which supports before and after-school programs for 1.6 million children across the country. The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program allows schools, nonprofits and community-based organi view article arw

If Texas is the hope of the world and the Rio Grande Valley is the hope of Texas, as Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Friday night, then Eddie Lucio Jr. has represented that hope for more than 30 years. Lucio was awarded Border Texan of the Year Friday night at the McAllen Convention Center. Border Texan is an honor that has been given to those such as then-Gov. George W. Bush, former Gov. Rick Perry, U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchinson, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Tony Garza, U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa, late U.S. Rep. Eligio “Kika” de la Garza, State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa and many more. view article arw

Hundreds gathered at the Capitol on Saturday morning to protest state legislation and budget cuts that would favor private schools by decreasing funding for public schools.  Students, teachers and parents at the Save Texas Schools rally urged the state Legislature to better fund public schools. Sam Cervantes, government and communications sophomore, said his low-income family who migrated from Mexico could only afford public education. “When (my mother) dropped me off at school, she said education was all that she could give me,” Cervantes said. “A college education is a key — it is a paramount catalyst to break the cycle of poverty.” view article arw

The Lufkin ISD UIL accounting team has no plans in stopping their dominance when it comes to district competition. This past weekend, the team won their 18th consecutive district championship. They are now back in the classroom and getting ready for the regional championship in two weeks in Waco. "I think there is a common denominator, and it is Mrs. Holcomb," senior Ana Willke said. "She works hard. She works harder than us, that is for sure." view article arw

In a schoolwide assembly Thursday morning, H-E-B surprised the principal of Elm Creek Elementary School with the news that he is a finalist in the Excellence in Education Awards, naming him as one of the best educators in Texas. Jose Luis Rojas won a $1,000 check for himself and a $2,500 check for the Atascosa school, which is in the Southwest Independent School District. He is a finalist in the primary school principal category for the statewide award, which will be announced in May. If Rojas wins, he will get $10,000 for himself and $25,000 for the school. view article arw

Midland ISD administrators are getting real and taking ownership of the struggles facing the district. “We have to understand we know that the community is not happy with what we’ve been doing. We understand there are campuses that haven’t done as well as they should be,” Chris Hightower, Director of Social Studies for Midland ISD said. For the past month, Hightower along with a group of central office employees have started what they’re calling core values training; taking time to look within, before looking at the district as a whole. view article arw

Austin ISD has posted its recent version of the district facility master plan. In the updated Facility Master Plan, Austin ISD has removed the list of schools it previously recommend to be closed or consolidated. The AISD Board states in the new master plan, the district will give schools with declining student enrollment a target master plan that will encourage growth in school facilities and address under-enrollment. view article arw

A teacher at an all-boys school in Grand Prairie ISD was arrested Friday for allegedly having an improper relationship with a student, the district confirmed on social media. Rebecca Goerdel, who is listed as a special education inclusion teacher at the Young Men’s Leadership Academy at Kennedy Middle School, had been under investigation for two weeks. Administrators caught wind of the alleged relationship on March 10. Goerdel hasn’t been in the classroom since. view article arw

Garland ISD's first Junior ROTC program at Rowlett High School, known as the Air Force National Defense Cadet Corps, has quickly become a success among the district and has plans to expand. Master Sgt. Andre Williams said Garland was one of the only independent school districts that did not have a Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) and no one was sure why. He added that in Texas, the Air Force Junior ROTC has more units than what they need. view article arw

Sherman High School students considering a career in manufacturing and industrial technology now have a new avenue to reach such a future, thanks to a first-year program designed to give them the skills and training employers are looking for. Juniors at Sherman High filled the school's auditorium Thursday for an informative presentation on the Industrial Maintenance Technology program, which will be available to seven students beginning in 2017. The free program allows students to complete relevant, entry-level college courses during their senior year, take part in a weekly, on-site internship and graduate with a basic certification in industrial technology. The IMT course stems from a partnership between the Sherman Independent School District, Grayson College, the Sherman Economic Development Corp. and six area industrial employers. view article arw

The percentage of parents in Lubbock Independent School District who choose to deny English-language services for their children has decreased from 21.85 percent in the 2010-11 school year to 3.7 percent in the 2015-16 school year. This means the number of students receiving language services from Lubbock ISD has increased from 791 in 2009-10 to 1,230 this year, even as the enrollment of the district has dropped, according to Denise Mattson, executive director of school support. She was giving a report on the language services to the Lubbock ISD board of trustees on Thursday morning. view article arw

The conversation on school choice has taken center stage this year as more and more residents throw their voices into the complex conversation. Last week, Senator Van Taylor and State Representative Matthew Shaheen both expressed a need to offer more variety and academic choice for local parents. However, several parents and residents sounded off in the comments on Facebook, like Nancy Wanger Wurzman, who noted there already exists several options for parents to choose from. view article arw

Reading isn’t always about the absorption of random facts and trivia. A good book can transport readers to far away vistas. Expose them to cultures and points of view unknown. Studies have shown that the best vehicles to these distant lands are literacy immersion programs like ‘Texas Reads One Book.’ Beginning April 3, DeSoto students along with schools statewide will read along with a streaming video of Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett. Starting at 9 a.m. Garrett will read the first chapter of The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies. view article arw

Adam Lira, Splendora High School career and technical education director, awoke in the middle of the night a few weeks ago with a dream-inspired idea. "I went to bed watching (a show about) tiny houses and woke up in the middle of the night after dreaming about tiny houses," Lira said. "I get to work that morning and Mr. (Reagan) Blake's in the office with me and I said, 'You know what? Let's build a tiny house.'" Blake, Splendora High School construction trade teacher, hopped on board with the idea. view article arw

While some Plano teens nursed their spring fever, about 360 Plano ISD students headed to the Capital One Conference Center to attend a Saturday training camp in preparation of the Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program. Launched in 2014, the internship program provides opportunities for Plano high school students to work eight-week paid internships running from June 12 to Aug. 4 at area businesses and nonprofits. view article arw

The Texarkana Independent School District has launched a survey asking staff, students and community members what changes they would like to see within the district. Developed with consulting group K12 Insight, the survey includes questions in four categories: teaching and learning; opportunities for students; culture and climate; and facilities and support operations. Nanette Power, TISD executive director of quality assurance, said the survey, which was launched to 5,000 people by email on Tuesday, had received around 500 votes by the time she spoke at the TISD regular board meeting."We believe accountability to our community is important and our student success can be measured by more than just one test given one day a year," Power told the board. "We are developing this report card so we can kind of measure those things that our community has told us are important that are priorities for our area." view article arw

Texas lawmakers expect to get a lot of mail from their constituents about issues, but over the past few weeks, the amount of letters coming into many of their offices is exceeding those expectations. "I go into the district office and all of a sudden I've got about 75 letters, and that's unusual for me to get that many on any issue," said Representative Drew Springer (R-Muenster). And the mail didn't stop with those 75 letters. "I come back the next week and I've got another 200 and I come back this last week and now I have another 300," Springer said.  view article arw

The Socorro Independent School District invites sophomores, juniors and seniors to the district's second annual College, Career and Job Expo on March 23. The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Montwood High School at 12000 Montwood Drive. The College, Career and Job Expo will allow students between the ages of 16 to 21 to speak with business and industry representatives about the education and skill requirements and qualifications necessary for the career in their field. In addition, students will have the opportunity to interview for summer jobs and internship opportunities with potentioal employers. view article arw