An area school district is facing a state investigation following allegations of nepotism by an administrator and board member. Both the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Rangers have been forwarded information regarding the allegations involving Stafford Municipal School District Superintendent Robert Bostic and the longest-serving Stafford MSD school board member, Greg Holsapple. view article arw

A Henderson schools trustee may face criminal mischief charges for allegedly paying two teenagers to damage the pickup truck and steal the campaign signs of an election challenger, the Longview News Journal reported. The Rusk County Sheriff’s Office submitted a criminal mischief case against the trustee, Jon Best, to District Attorney Micheal Jimerson last week, although both Jimerson and Sheriff Jeff Price declined to comment on the case, the newspaper reported.    view article arw

Monday, dozens of community members packed Wimberley ISD's board meeting for a chance to voice their opinions on recent controversy. Last month, board member Lori Olson made a Facebook post supporting the town's first gay pride parade. Olson attached picture of herself wearing a t-shirt with the pride flag as the backdrop of the Wimberley High School logo. view article arw

A Tatum ISD mother and grandmother are planning to take the district to court, after the school board on Monday unanimously denied their grievances about the expulsion of their children over dress code issues. The school board’s attorney, meanwhile, denied Monday that the children have technically been expelled and insisted, instead, that the issues at hand have to do with a grandmother’s manipulation of the Head Start system and a mother enrolling her child in a district in which he doesn’t live. view article arw

Nothing is set in stone yet for what the Wichita Falls ISD wants to include in a bond election for next year. One thing they do know: there are 26 schools in the district and a student population that’s meant to support only 19. Today members of the board heard from wary parents and community members on what closing or building new schools could mean for Wichita Falls. view article arw

The Rusk County Sheriff’s Office has submitted a criminal mischief case against Henderson ISD trustee Jon Best to Rusk County District Attorney Micheal Jimerson. Sheriff Jeff Price confirmed his office had done so, but both he and Jimerson declined to comment on the case, which could advance to the grand jury. view article arw

In one of the more bizarre situations in the past two years, The Woodlands Township Board of Directors devoted almost two hours Thursday to discussion, debate — and an unplanned presentation — of the Conroe Independent School District’s upcoming $653.5 million bond election, eventually approving a resolution of support for the proposition “A” bond. The board resolution has no power and is merely a statement of support of CISD bond package “A” before voters in the Nov. 5 election. Directors first rejected the proposed resolution of support for the bond in a 4-3 vote, however the three losing directors — vociferously led by directors Ann Snyder and John McMullan — refused to accept the vote and vigorously argued with board Chairman Gordy Bunch and other directors about their belief it was important to pass the resolution, demanding a special meeting be scheduled immediately to revisit the issue. view article arw

Boyd trustee resigns post

October 2108:40 AM

The Boyd School Board accepted the resignation of a member Tuesday evening due to a nepotism issue that needed to be addressed view article arw

Throughout October, a Clear Creek ISD committee has been examining the potential benefits of students starting school later in the day, and residents will soon be able to share their thoughts and concerns. The CCISD School Start Time Committee has come up with two potential models for school start times. The first would keep start times where they are, with elementary students starting at 7:55 a.m., intermediate students starting at 8:40 a.m. and high school students starting at 7:10 a.m. The second would move start times back so elementary students would start at 8:15 a.m., intermediate students would start at 9 a.m. and high school students would start at 7:30 a.m. view article arw

Four residents of the Southwest part of North East Independent School District have applied for a seat on its board to represent District 3 and replace former trustee Joseph Treviño. The applicants are Omar Leos, a Harlandale Independent School District administrator, Amy McLin, a Castle Hills city council member, Christopher Mammen, an independent consultant and Dolores Serna, a former educator. The school board has not announced a timeline for appointing the new trustee, who will serve until its next general election, in May 2020. view article arw

Candidates competing to represent Single Member District 2 sat down together Oct. 17 to answer questions about issues facing Richardson ISD. Incumbent Eron Linn has served as trustee since 2015. He is facing challenger Vanessa Pacheco in RISD’s first-ever single-member district election—the result of a recently settled lawsuit that restructured the district’s electoral process. The forum was hosted by League of Women Voters-Richardson and moderated by Richardson City Council Member Steve Mitchell. Questions for the candidates centered on teacher salaries and retention, campus safety, the importance of fine arts, parent engagement, equity and inclusion, special education services and RISD’s neighborhood schools model. view article arw

Endorsement watch: Miscellania

October 2108:25 AM

We cover three endorsements today: HD148 (I presume the Chron is not endorsing in HD28), HISD IV, and City Council District C. Endorsements for the constitutional amendments were in the print edition on Saturday, I’ll run them on Tuesday. That leaves the Mayor and Controller, and I assume those will be in today’s print edition, and will have been online as of later in the day Saturday. I’ll get to those on Monday. For today, we start with HD148 and the Chron’s recommendation of Anna Eastman in HD148. view article arw

Voters within North Hopkins ISD will be asked to select up to three of the seven candidates on their Nov. 5 ballots to serve on North Hopkins ISD Board of Trustees. KSST asked each of the candidates to provide a photo and answer the same questions about themselves to share with the voters.  view article arw

The Gilmer ISD board of trustees will discuss plans to fill a trustee vacancy at its 6 p.m. Monday meeting at the administration building. Last month, trustee Diedra Camp resigned from the school board for personal reasons, Superintendent Rick Albritton said. The board has to wait 30 days before discussing what do to with the vacant seat. view article arw

Gladewater ISD trustees will look at tax items when they meet at 6 p.m. Monday at the Gladewater Middle School library. The board could approve a tax refund and the 2019 tax rolls. The tax rolls are related to a mineral and real estate recap for the mineral and real estate tax levy. view article arw

An unscheduled visit from Conroe ISD Superintendent Curtis Null turned the discussion at The Woodlands Township board of directors meeting Oct. 17 into a brief question-and-answer session after the board could not win a majority vote to endorse the district’s Nov. 5 bond referendum. Director Ann Snyder called Null on her cell phone to ask him if he could come to the board’s in-progress meeting to answer questions about the measure. The board had not seen a presentation for the November bond, and several members said they needed more information. Board members individually expressed support for the bond on a personal basis. view article arw

Katy ISD Board of Trustees Vice President Bill Lacy will now be bringing his passion for public schools beyond the district. Lacy has recently been elected to the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), a non profit association dedicated to serving and supporting Texas public schools. Lacy was nominated for the position by Katy ISD and was then elected by the TASB board. view article arw

Clint Independent School District trustees decided that board trustee Fred Martinez’s wife must give a written apology to the student who she took a Mexican flag away from. According to parents, Rebecca Martinez was at a high school football game and began yelling derogatory comments to the student waving the flag. “If she doesn’t apologize, she will be banned from coming to any school activities until May of 2020,” said Juan Cruz, the general council at Clint Independent School District. view article arw

Leander Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Bruce Gearing turned the tables when he got up from his seat and walked around to sit opposite LISD school board members at the Oct. 3 school board meeting, during a presentation regarding ideal school sizes.  Gearing then shared his plans for the school district. “I came to sit here because I don’t like sitting there,” Gearing said, while motioning to his usual seat at the meetings. “I really like to be able to see you, so I apologize if that’s not normal.” view article arw

Less than a week ahead of the start of early voting for Nov. 5 elections, five Cy-Fair ISD board candidates attended a public forum to answer questions from community members at the Berry Center on Oct. 15. Incumbent board members Tom Jackson, Julie Hinaman and Debbie Blackshear are running for each of the election’s three uncontested positions, but three candidates are vying for the Position 3 seat—Ryan Irving, Natalie Blasingame and Gilbert Sarabia, who was unable to attend the event due to a family emergency. view article arw

The Long-Range Facilities Planning Committee (LRFPC) will begin meeting in November to plan for the next 5-10 years of student growth in Dripping Springs ISD. The LRFPC serves a critical need for the future of the district, as important decisions are made over the next year to ensure that Dripping Springs ISD continues to serve all students with an outstanding education. view article arw

The Highland Park ISD Board of Trustees approved an elementary school boundary rezoning plan during the Oct. 15 meeting after months of discussions. The new attendance boundaries will take effect in the 2020-2021 school year when Michael M. Boone Elementary School opens as Highland Park ISD’s fifth elementary school. Students currently enrolled in the third grade will have the option of attending their current school or the new school to which they’re zoned. view article arw

Spring ISD Board Trustee Winford Adams, Jr. joined 35 other school board members from across Texas Sept. 19-21 at the kickoff session of the Leadership TASB class of 2020. Selected by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), the group is participating in a yearlong education leadership study program. These trustees represent school districts of all sizes, with student populations of 161 to 189,681, and reflect a similar range of property wealth. Participants who complete all required elements of the study will graduate next year by earning Master Trustee status. This is the highest designation recognized by TASB. view article arw

Enrollment at Plano ISD has dropped by approximately 450 students since last year. This comparison was made with enrollment numbers from Oct. 5 of last year and Oct. 3 this year, according to a report by Chief Financial Officer Randy McDowell at a district work session Oct. 15. While enrollment grew by more than 100 students from September to October this year, the growth is not strong enough to make up for large secondary classes graduating from the district, McDowell said. view article arw

Longview ISD Board of Trustees approved district-wide International Baccalaureate (IB) training for all district teaching staff during their regular meeting Monday, October 9th. Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox said this training is part of the district's larger goal "to provide the best educational offerings to the students in our care."  "One of the strategic action steps for the district is to provide all district staff with training in the IB philosophy," he said.  The cost for providing this training to all staff will be approximately $760,000. Federal and state grant funds will be utilized to pay for these trainings and coaching, as well as some local funds.  Recognized worldwide, the IB program is a demanding college preparatory curriculum in the classical liberal arts. LISD is one of the only districts in the country that offers an IB program from elementary through high school. view article arw

A new 71-passenger school bus was approved Monday night in a 6-0 vote by the Louise ISD school board to be purchased at an estimated cost of $96,000. Currently, Louise ISD is borrowing one school bus from El Campo ISD, as the district’s school buses are worn down. Only one of the current Louise ISD buses has working air conditioning. view article arw

Candidates for Richardson ISD’s board of trustees gathered at Hamilton Park United Methodist Church for a forum on Oct. 14. Former RISD trustee David Tyson Jr. opened the forum. The move to a majority single-member electoral system is the result of a yearlong negotiation between the district and Tyson, who claimed at-large elections favor white candidates and discourages minority candidates from seeking election. Now, five of the district’s board members will be elected by voters living in specific districts. Three of those five single-member districts will be voted on in the Nov. 5 election. One race is uncontested. view article arw

The school board here swiftly terminated its attorney Monday after being the focus of a raucous board meeting last week. In a 4 to 3 vote, Baltazar Salazar, who was hired for the job over the summer, was ousted as the school board’s attorney during a special board meeting held Monday afternoon. view article arw

Longview ISD hosted the third of four town hall meetings about Senate Bill 1882 and what it means for the future of the district on Oct. 8th at Judson STEAM Academy. "The dialogue continues to be productive," said Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox. "We are thankful to the many parents and members of the community who have come to the meetings thus far — with some folks coming to multiple meetings — to share their thoughts, questions, concerns and compliments with our district leadership." Paul Pastorek, Executive Advisor for the Texas Education Agency, echoed Wilcox's sentiments, offering praise to those in attendance as well as the district itself.  view article arw

Texas Education Agency officials concluded Lira and fellow trustee Diana Dávila made false statements to investigators looking into charges that some board members violated the state’s Open Meetings Act as a prelude to the embarrassing ouster and reinstatement of interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan in late 2018. Lira told the editorial board he couldn’t comment because it was an ongoing investigation, but stressed the TEA’s findings were allegations, not proof. view article arw

A Tyler Independent School District trustee has been selected to become a Master Trustee. Dr. Patricia Nation, who represents Tyler ISD District 4, joined 35 other school board members from across Texas at the kickoff session of the Leadership TASB class of 2020, Sept. 19-21 in Dallas. Selected by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), the group is participating in a yearlong education leadership study program. Nation joined the Tyler ISD board in 2014 and is serving a second term. She is up for reelection in 2020. A retired educator, Nation has worked at all levels in the field from classroom teacher to administrator in East Texas school districts. view article arw

Longview ISD Place 6 trustee Ted Beard has been appointed as vice president of the Texas Association of School Boards. “I’m going to continue to advocate for quality, accessible public education that’s properly funded for all of the school districts, not just in Region VII but for the entire state of Texas,” he said. “I am blessed to bring a perspective from the greater Longview community and the entire Region VII service area.” view article arw

The Pearland ISD Board of Trustees approved the establishment of a capital projects fund at the Oct. 8 meeting and the transfer of $10 million from the general operating fund into the capital projects fund. The $10 million will begin to address the $18 million worth of capital improvement needs indicated in the 10-year capital renewal plan the district published in May. “We’re beginning to look through those projects with a fine-toothed comb to determine which are most critical and should be prioritized in this process,” Superintendent John Kelly said. view article arw

Rio Grande City school board members erupted in argument during a meeting Tuesday over payments to their current attorney. The school board was set to consider terminating Baltazar Salazar, a Houston-based attorney, from his post as the school board attorney. The motion failed as only board Trustee Daria Babineaux voted in favor of firing him. However, the vote came after much arguing between some of the board members, Salazar and Superintendent Vilma Garza. view article arw

The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) has elected Mark Lukert of Wichita Falls ISD to a three-year term on the TASB Board of Directors, representing TASB Region 9. Lukert, who joined the Wichita Falls ISD Board in 2018, has been an educator for more than 40 years. He spent 21 years as an elementary school principal. Currently, he is a national trainer, speaker and leadership coach for the John Maxwell Team. He also presents keynote addresses for various organizations and conducts team-building workshops across the state and nation.  view article arw