Burton ISD is joining the Texas Association of School Boards and other districts across the state to celebrate January’s School Board Recognition Month, which serves to honor the contributions of locally-elected advocates for students and public schools. “School board members tackle a difficult job and shoulder enormous responsibilities. These men and women are elected to establish the policies that provide the framework for our school,” Burton ISD Superintendent Edna Kennedy said. view article arw

For the first time in roughly a decade, Hays CISD leaders adopted a list of priorities they’d like to see state legislators tackle in 2019, but not without debate. Eleven items comprised the district’s list, which was an initiative brought forth by Superintendent Eric Wright, who had accomplished a similar task with previous districts he worked with during state legislative years. Texas lawmakers began the 2019 legislative session in early January. view article arw

January is a great time to celebrate your hard-working school board members and educate the public about the important role that a school board plays in our communities and schools. Although showing appreciation should be a year-round process, taking advantage of the designated School Board Recognition Month assures that these important people receive some of the thanks they deserve. view article arw

Hays CISD to finalize new calender

January 1708:25 AM

More than 1,000 stakeholder responses have been received by Hays CISD on the first draft of a proposed 2019-20 school calendar. The new calendar incorporates several components that come with being a District of Innovation (DOI), which was unanimously approved by the HCISD board trustees in December 2018. According to the Texas Education Agency, the DOI designation allows districts to be exempt from certain sections of the Texas Education Code for a five-year period. Hays CISD will obtain DOI status starting during the Fall semester 2019. view article arw

Other than the situation in Los Angeles USD. I believe that Houston is currently our most pressing urban district situation. The Republicans in Texas Legislature would like to take over the democratically-elected majority minority school board and turn Houston ISD into a charter district. I have a special place in my heart for Houston ISD as my career began there in 1999-2001. This op-ed was originally posted here in the Houston Chronicle. view article arw

College Station school board members made it official Tuesday night that the 2019-2020 school year will begin Aug. 15 for students and end May 28, 2020. The process to select the official academic calendar for the upcoming school year began in October and continued through November and December as the Districtwide Educational Improvement Council (DEIC) gave its input and then solicited feedback from parents, students, teachers and community members. The outside feedback came in the form of a poll in which 3,695 votes were cast. view article arw

The first day for prospective candidates to file for a seat on the City Council, including mayoral seat, Garland ISD and Rockwall ISD school boards in the May 4 general election is Jan. 16. City Council seats up for grabs this year is the mayoral position currently held by Tammy Dana-Bashian, council member Place 2 currently held by Brownie Sherrill, council member Place 4 currently held by Debby Bobbitt, and council member Place 6 currently held by Martha Brown. view article arw

Filing opens today for anyone wishing to run in the May 4 election for city councils and trustee boards in most area cities and school districts. view article arw

Belton Independent School District approved a new attendance boundary with a six to one vote Monday night. After five committee meetings and numerous public forums to get feedback from the community, school officials were able to agree on one plan as proposed by the administration. Belton ISD will see the opening of a new elementary school in the fall and a new middle and high school in 2020. view article arw

Dozens of residents on Jan. 15 attended the Clear Creek ISD School Boundary Advisory Committee’s first of five public hearings about proposed school attendance boundary changes designed to alleviate overcrowding, fill underutilized schools and clean up feeder patterns. Committee Chairperson Sara Holder reviewed the previously reported recommended changes the 32-member committee came up with over several meetings from mid-October through mid-December. view article arw

Athens ISD trustees appointed Kari Wilmeth on Monday night to replace outgoing board secretary Renda Garner, who resigned because of a change in residency. “We appreciate the years of service Mrs. Garner has given to the district,” said Superintendent Blake Stiles following the meeting. “She has helped us navigate some key decisions and will be missed.”Garner, who has two children at Central Athens Elementary School and who graduated from Athens High School, worked in 2015 as a volunteer on behalf of the successful passage of the district’s bond initiative and later ran unopposed for a seat on the board. view article arw

As Coppell ISD prepares to undergo boundary realignment, several  parents said they believe the proposed plans do not allow for diversity. During Monday night’s school board meeting, residents spoke out to share their thoughts on the plans. “I wanted to speak to you today to advocate for the delaying of the redistricting of our middle schools,” said Bliss Stephan, an Irving homeowner who has children in the district. “I think we’re simply not ready. We aren’t properly representing the needs of Irving homeowners, and we have not fully explored the impact on diversity in drawing the lines the way they are proposed.” view article arw

Filing for a place on the El Campo ISD school board ballot begins today with both incumbents saying they will not seek another three-year term. Ralph Novosad, Position 3, and Cecil Davis, Position 5, who have served on the board for a combined 25 years, both have different reasons for not running on the ballot May 4. view article arw

Beaumont ISD will vote this week on whether to hand over control of its three longest-struggling campuses to two charter operators. Fehl-Price Elementary, Jones-Clark Elementary and Smith Middle School have been "chronically" flagged as improvement required by the Texas Education Agency for at least four years, according to previous reporting from The Enterprise. view article arw

It took five public meetings to draw the new attendance lines, which superintendent Susan Kincannon will formally present to the board Monday night. view article arw

There’s more opposition to the proposed site of the new Carroll High School. The school, approved by voters as part of the Corpus Christi Independent School District’s 2018 Bond proposal, came up quite a bit at Monday’s CCISD Board of Trustees meeting.  District Superintendent Dr. Roland Hernandez talked about the procedure for drawing new school attendance boundaries, including for the new Carroll.  But during public comment, several people spoke out against the new school’s proposed location, including former Corpus Christi city councilman David Loeb. view article arw

WHAT WE REPORTED: Lewisville ISD is facing its first-ever recapture payment of $34.5 million at the end of 2018-19 fiscal year. Recapture, also informally called “Robin Hood,” is the term for the money the state collects from “property-rich districts” for redistribution to “property-poor” districts. LISD Chief Financial Officer Mike Ball said a rise in property values and a decline in district enrollment combined to force the district to send money to the state. District officials have attributed the growth of area charter schools as one of the reasons for decreased enrollment. view article arw

The Belton Independent School District school board approved new school attendance boundaries in a 6 to 1 vote Monday night. The new lines will determine which schools kids will attend in the district, and takes into account the new Charter Oak Elementary School, which is the first school from the 2017 bond election.  view article arw

The Fort Bend Independent School District board meeting and overflow area were packed Monday night ahead of a discussion on rezoning the district that could affect thousands of students starting next school year. The district did not have an exact number, but a spokesperson said between 1,000 to 2,000 students will likely be affected by new zoning, which would start taking effect in the fall of the 2019-2020 school year. view article arw

Carroll ISD students and staff can now see what the 2019-20 school calendar holds. On Jan. 14, the CISD board of trustees decided to adopt one of the two calendars presented for the board to consider. In December, the Southlake community provided feedback to help the board decide on a new 2019-20 school calendar. The district posted the two calendars on its website and let community members submit feedback on draft one or draft two of the calendar. On Jan. 14, the board approved draft 2 of the calendar for the upcoming school year. view article arw

Seminole ISD Board Trustees could consider approval of a memorandum of understanding for a potential land swap with the City of Seminole as part of the board's regular January business meeting, slated to be held Monday evening at the Seminole ISD Administration Building. Monday's meeting is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start at the SISD Administration Building, located at 207 S.W. 6th St. The meeting is open to the general public, for those who wish to attend. Negotiations and the development of a memorandum of understanding has been taking place between the two Seminole entities, as the City of Seminole is eyeing the development of a newer, larger facility for the Seminole Emergency Medical Services Dept. view article arw

The committee tasked with developing new attendance boundary maps for consideration by the Belton ISD Board of Trustees concluded their work on Monday evening. Belton ISD Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon noted that since the committee’s previous meeting October 22, 2018, the staff of Southwest Elementary and South Belton Middle School expressed concerns regarding the middle school boundaries for Southwest Elementary students. Under both Map Set A and Map Set E, students were proposed to have attended the new Belton Middle School. view article arw

Bonham -- January is School Board Recognition Month, and Bonham ISD will join the Texas Association of School Boards and other districts across the state to honor the countless contributions of these locally elected advocates for Texas schoolchildren and public schools. “School board members tackle a difficult job and shoulder enormous responsibilities. These men and women are elected to establish the policies that provide the framework for our public schools. They provide vision and leadership in their roles as advocates, and they will continue to stand up for public education and guard against anything that takes away from our children or undermines our public schools,” said Kelly Trompler, Bonham ISD Interim Superintendent. view article arw

Potential candidates learn the ropes

January 1408:30 AM

Ten prospective candidates, along with the two incumbents, turned out for the Decatur ISD school board candidate information session Wednesday night. The Place 1 seat of Wade Watson and the Place 2 spot of current school board president Cheri Boyd will be on the May 4 ballot. Watson and Boyd said during Wednesday’s session they are undecided if they will file for reelection. view article arw

After the winter break Coppell ISD picked up the discussion of boundary realignment in a community forum Thursday night. During the forum district officials gave more insight to the process and the proposed plans as well as answered questions from the community. According to Sid Grant, associate superintendent, the board is considering plan A2 to rezone its elementary schools and plan B3 for middle schools. view article arw

Yesterday, I threw cold water on, “The School Board is the Solution to All Our School Performance Issues,” theory of action.  So, what is the answer?  The problems of school performance represent a Gordian Knot. If there is one person who can cut through everything, it is… the Principal. view article arw

January is School Board Recognition Month, and Paris ISD joins the Texas Association of School Boards and other districts across the state to honor the countless contributions of these locally elected advocates for Texas schoolchildren and public schools. “School board members tackle a difficult job and shoulder enormous responsibilities. These men and women are elected to establish the policies that provide the framework for our public schools. They provide vision and leadership in their roles as advocates, and they will continue to stand up for public education and guard against anything that takes away from our children or undermines our public schools,” said Paul Jones, Paris ISD superintendent. view article arw

Editor’s note: This report is the second article in a series that began last week with a Herald-Banner report about a parent taking her child out of the Lone Oak Independent School District due to what she described as an attempt by the district to silence her complaints about district leaders. That  first report of the series can be found online at https://bit.ly/2RM9SR7view article arw

Leander ISD’s board of trustees is again considering calendar schedules—this time for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years. The proposed calendars for both years include a start date in mid-August and an end date in late May. The results of an LISD survey of 3,940 community members and 1,347 district staff members, the majority of respondents wanted the school year to end before June.  view article arw

The Fort Worth school board censured trustee Ashley Paz Tuesday after reviewing a complaint from a Daggett Montessori parent who accused her of meddling in campus management and trying to get the principal removed last year. The school board voted 5-3 in favor of censuring Paz Tuesday. The vote came after a motion by Trustee Ann Sutherland. It followed a public hearing that took about three hours and included 10-minute presentations by the complainant, Heather Leaf, and Paz’s attorney, Lynn Rossi Scott. view article arw

Members of the Edgewood Independent School District governing board on Tuesday learned the two ways they can fill a board vacancy. Nearly three months ago, trustee Edward Romero resigned from the board without stating a reason, leaving open an elected trustee position on a hybrid governing board that is composed of five state-appointed managers and two elected trustees. Because there is more than a year left in Romero's term, Edgewood has a 180-day deadline to replace him. Romero was elected in 2016, and as of Tuesday night, the district was a little more than 80 days into this timeline, putting the deadline in mid-April. view article arw

Lewisville ISD Trustee Jenny Proznik announced Wednesday she intends to file for re-election for her position in Place 5 on The Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees. The filing period opens on Jan. 16. Proznik is completing her first term as a Lewisville ISD Trustee. During her first term LISD has re-evaluated and implemented a facility plan for LISD buildings, and passed a $737 million bond package.  view article arw

Austin ISD is looking at a $30-million budget shortfall this year and an even worse deficit in the years to come. view article arw

The El Campo City Council and school district political season gets under way next week with the start of candidate filing. In the meantime, the public can register to vote for the two Saturday, May 4 elections. view article arw

Now we talk about vote centers

January 0908:30 AM

New Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman on Tuesday [proposed] to Commissioners Court a non-precinct based countywide polling system, where voters can cast ballots at the locations most convenient to them. “Life gets in the way; you’ve got to pick up the kids, or go to another job,” Trautman said at her office Monday. “But if people actually had a choice of when and where to vote, I think you would see a big difference in turnout.” Fifty-two Texas counties, including neighboring Fort Bend and Brazoria, have used voting centers. view article arw