Interest rates have been on the rise over the past couple of years, which is great for anyone looking to grow their savings. If you’re willing to keep your money on deposit for a while, you can maximize your earnings by putting your money in a certificate of deposit (CD). In partnership with Curinos, a top source of banking information and analytics, we’ve analyzed more than 20,000 data points to identify the most competitive CD rates available in Texas. Keep in mind that our assessment of each institution isn’t exhaustive and our rankings focus exclusively on the APY. view article arw

Spring Branch ISD announced the second phase of budget cut proposals as they face a shortfall of $35 million. The district announced Monday they’re looking at the ‘Gifted & Talented Programming’ and it’s ‘Choice Programming.’ The significant difference the district is proposing for the ‘Gifted & Talented’ is with the Spring Branch Program for Improving Reasoning and Accelerating Learning or SPIRAL program. view article arw

The Lufkin Independent School District school board has hired three consultants to help examine the district’s structure. This follows former LISD superintendent Lynn Torres asking to be put on administrative leave for the 2023-2024 school year. LISD Deputy Superintendent Kurt Stephens said three consultants were hired from Caldwell Consulting LLC to have outside eyes look at different areas of the district. view article arw

Across North Texas, multiple school districts are seeing a decline in enrollment. District officials for Irving ISD say in the last 10 years, enrollment has declined by around 5,000 students, which is resulting in a $25 million budget hit, as well as school officials rethinking opening doors for certain schools. view article arw

While state lawmakers continue to debate school vouchers during the latest special Texas legislative session, a North Texas school district revealed this week it’s on the brink of a potential $27 million budget deficit in the 2024-25 school year. Now Keller ISD leaders are urging parents and the local community to pressure those lawmakers into filling the budget gap. During the district's Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, interim Superintendent John Allison said the projected shortfall is due to inflation, insufficient state funding and unfunded mandates — including a recently passed law requiring armed security at every public schools in Texas. view article arw

Advocates for education savings accounts say they will help families better afford tuition. However, opponents say ESAs would leave out those who need most help. As the fight over education savings accounts rages on at the Texas Capitol, questions about tuition costs continue to bubble up in debates. Lawmakers’ latest proposals suggest giving families between about $8,000 and $10,500. Any set amount is far from a done deal as legislators debate the voucherlike ESAs, which would provide public dollars for Texas families to use on private schools or other education-related expenses. view article arw

The San Antonio Independent School District board of trustees voted 5-2 Monday to close 15 schools and merge others, capping a four-month process that will shutter over 15% of the shrinking urban school district’s educational facilities. Trustees voted, after a lengthy discussion, on a list of closures and mergers finalized by district staff that was formulated based on student enrollment, facility usage and cost per pupil. The moves are designed to better align the district’s resources with the student population. Trustees Art Valdez, Christina Martinez, Alicia Sebastian, Leticia Ozuna and Ed Garza voted for the measure while Stephanie Torres and Sarah Sorensen voted against it. Before the vote, Sorensen attempted to remove six schools from the closure list, and then two, but both adjustments failed on 5-2 votes. view article arw

Valerie Lozano’s son Ryan, 9, has attended three different schools since kindergarten. The Winston Intermediate School of Excellence is the first place he’s spent more than one consecutive grade. The newfound consistency will be short-lived. On Tuesday, the Edgewood Independent School District board voted 5-1 to shutter two campuses, Winston and E.T. Wrenn Middle School, to try to address dwindling enrollment and depleted funding. view article arw

It’s a challenge for much of Texas: recruiting and retaining public school teachers. The Lufkin school board is considering a Teacher’s Incentive Allotment program, funded by state grant money. Lufkin ISD Assistant Superintendent for Education Services Shelly Slaton said 26 names of their top-ranked teachers were turned in for recommendation to the state. view article arw

The Plano Independent School District may close certain schools and restructure others as student enrollment continues to decline and school buildings age and deteriorate, administrators said Monday night. District leaders shared their Long Range Facility Planning roadmap during a public meeting at Jasper High School, and walked parents and community members through the results of a study approved by PISD's board of trustees in May. view article arw

No more than 24 hours after another local school district voted to shut down more than a dozen schools, Edgewood Independent School District is the latest San Antonio-area public district to close schools amid low enrollment and lack of funding. All except for one board member present voted to shut down the schools. One board member was not in attendance. view article arw

Goliad ISD received a “superior achievement” score for financial accountability in its 2022-23 Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) assessment, according to information released recently by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The rating is based on 2021-22 school year data. Goliad ISD was given a score of 96. School districts with grades from 90 to 100 were given A ratings for. A passing grade was 70 or better. view article arw

Trustees of the San Antonio Independent School District faced a packed board room of upset families and staff Monday night, gathered to ask the board to reconsider a historic proposal to close 15 schools. Although SAISD held dozens of community meetings on the plan to consolidate schools between August and November, many of the nearly 60 speakers said they felt administrators rushed the process and didn’t truly hear them. view article arw

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Supporters of Texas’ education savings accounts proposal argue state money could allow special needs students to access schools catered to their unique learning abilities, while critics worry a state-subsidized tuition program would further neglect services in underfunded public schools. Lawmakers and stakeholders on each side of the debate agree: special needs students are not well-served by the current state of public schools’ special needs programs. Texas Academic Performance Reports show just 11% of students with disabilities were college ready in 2020, compared to 53% of all students. That’s a slight increase over 2018, when just 7.2% of students with disabilities were college ready. view article arw

Sen. Paul Bettencourt also discusses fourth special session, says it takes time to find consensus in today’s political environment The bill will soon come due for the state of Texas now that voters have overwhelmingly approved Prop 4 which provides significant property tax relief to most homeowners. The constitutional amendment raises the homestead exemption and lowers the school district property tax section on your bill. So, the state will now give districts $7.1 billion every year to make up for those lost dollars. view article arw

Imagine a Little Rock family, the Joneses, who are doing very well for themselves. They’re not quite in the top one percent in the state by income, but they’re closer than you might think. Mr. Jones is an associate dean at UAMS and Mrs. Jones is a lawyer — their combined income is around $300,000. They have two kids and own a beautiful house in the Heights. Life is good. Both kids go to Episcopal Collegiate School, where the tuition is $15,010 for their daughter, in elementary school, and $17,900 for their son, in sixth grade. Those are fixed costs in their family budget. Every year, they spend $32,910 on tuition, not to mention other expenses related to the private school. That leaves them with a little less money to save, invest or spend on other stuff. For example, they’re eager to remodel their kitchen. view article arw

Uvalde CISD Board of Trustees has announced the naming of Ashley Chohlis as the Lone Superintendent Finalist. The Board retained the services of the Education Service Center, Region 20, for assistance in conducting the superintendent search to thoroughly and diligently vet all of the applicants it considered. The decision was made during a special board meeting held on November 6, 2023, where the board unanimously voted in her favor. The waiting period of 21 days is now initiated, and it is anticipated that Ashley Chohlis will sign a contract on or after November 27, 2023, and begin work as the new superintendent of Uvalde CISD. view article arw

Spring Branch ISD voted Monday night to postpone closing two of its schools due to a major budget shortfall. The district wants to close Treasure Forest Elementary and Panda Path School for Early Learning because it's facing a $35 million shortfall for the upcoming school year. Closing schools is part of phase one of the budget cuts, including pausing bond programs and adjusting student/teacher staffing ratios. view article arw

State legislators made school safety a top priority this year after 19 students and two teachers died in the 2022 Uvalde school shooting. But even after they passed a sweeping bill on the topic this May, schools have been raising the alarm that the $1.4 billion approved to fund the new initiatives doesn’t go nearly far enough. School districts are now worried that political fighting over vouchers might prevent them from getting additional help. House Bill 3, signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in June, requires school districts to develop active-shooter plans and mandates mental health training for certain employees. It also provides funds for schools to install silent panic buttons in classrooms and requires each campus to have an armed guard present during school hours. view article arw

Carroll ISD superintendent Lane Ledbetter provided an update on the district during an annual speech at the Southlake Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Oct. 26. He touched on State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test results, school safety and the district’s financial situation, which led to four properties being placed for sale to help bring in additional income. view article arw

The Georgetown Independent School District said Monday its financial management got the highest rating from the state’s financial accountability system. The district said it got an “A” rating for “Superior Achievement” in School FIRST (Fiscal Integrity Rating System of Texas). view article arw

BEAUMONT, Texas — The Texas Senate passed a bill that would give Texas parents the choice to send their children to a private school of their choice. The Texas Senate passed the "School Choice" bill which would set aside $500 million over the next two years and give Texas parents $8,000 per year to send their child to a private school of their choice.  The Texas Senate passed a bill that would give Texas parents the choice to send their children to a private school of their choice.   The Texas Senate passed the "School Choice" bill which would set aside $500 million over the next two years and give Texas parents $8,000 per year to send their child to a private school of their choice.  view article arw

As Texas lawmakers debate the pros and cons of private school vouchers, it’s still unclear whether aspects of such a program would be legal under state and federal law. The U.S. Supreme Court has set some parameters for voucher programs over the past two decades. Supporters of the programs say those rulings clear the way for Texas to move forward, while critics say there are still untested issues, especially in a state like Texas, which has never had a voucher program. Senate Bill 1, which is currently stalled in the Texas House, would allow parents of schoolchildren to apply for access to $8,000, held by an outside organization, which they could spend on school tuition, uniforms, transportation, tutoring, special education therapies, extracurricular programs or other approved categories. The program initially would cover up to about 60,000 students. Most of the big voucher cases before the U.S. Supreme Court in recent years have revolved around whether they violate the First Amendment’s establishment clause, which forbids the government from establishing a national religion. view article arw

Land and taxes lost for the past 80 years are finally being accounted for. 4,393.56 of 13,741.14 acres of Walnut Bend ISD’s land is owned by the federal government. “A big chunk of the property in the school district was taken by the federal government in 1943 to build Lake Texoma as part of the flood plain,” Superintendent, Ken Kemp, explained. view article arw

Through October, legislators have been debating whether public school money should be diverted to pay for Texans' private school tuition. But that's already happening, through a little-discussed program that some call a "loophole" or "gaming the system." Perfectly legal partnerships between public school districts and private (even evangelical Christian) pre-K schools allow districts to enroll kids in schools hundreds of miles away. The state pays for it, with districts and private schools determining their split.  While much of the opposition to private school vouchers being debated in the Legislature focuses on lost revenue to public schools, concerns about taxpayer money funding religious education also play a significant role. Opponents to the education savings accounts (ESAs) proposed in the legislative special session say this is the foundation for a plan to significantly increase state funding to Christian schools – part of an agenda by Christian nationalists to take a bigger piece of Texas public education and the tax money funding it. view article arw

District officials with Spring Branch Independent School District say they’re on the brink of closing one of its elementary schools to deal with the shortfalls of school funding. “Yesterday (Monday) was a very difficult day,” said Lisa Alpe, a member of the Spring Branch ISD Board of Trustees. view article arw

CORPUS CHRISTI—A new investigation released by Accuracy in Media shows educators admitting that they teach principles of the 1619 project.  Accuracy in Media—an organization that empowers individuals to hold journalists, public officials, and private officials accountable—has released a new undercover investigation into Corpus Christi government schools. The video shows two educators boasting about how staff teach principles of the 1619 project, but without using the terminology to students.  The government schools in question are the Calallen and Ingleside Independent School Districts.  The 1619 Project is The New York Times Magazine’s “initiative to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.” The project has been widely criticized as having some “factual errors” in regards to “major events.” view article arw

More than half of Houston Independent School District campuses have fewer students enrolled this year as the district continues to experience enrollment declines. During the first week of this school year, there were 177,524 students enrolled, which is 6.5% fewer students than the 189,934 who were enrolled last year, according to HISD and state data. view article arw

To fill a projected $25.4 million funding gap in Spring ISD’s general fund for the fiscal year 2023-24 budget, trustees approved the use of federal funds June 27. Two-minute impact SISD’s board of trustees approved the FY 2023-24 budget—which shows a general fund with an anticipated $319 million in total revenue but about $345 million in anticipated costs, according to budget documents—on June 27. To cover the anticipated shortfall, the district’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund monies will be used, leaving a $3.1 million gap, according to a June 29 news release from the district. As previously reported by Community Impact, the general fund for SISD’s FY 2022-23 budget included a funding gap of about $35.4 million when adopted in June 2022. view article arw

Gov. Greg Abbott recently said that his efforts to roll out private school vouchers in Texas are at the “one-yard line” and closer than ever to becoming law. Although such a policy would be new to Texas, that doesn’t mean it would be truly new: More than half of the 50 states already have some form of program that gives families public dollars to spend on private education. Academics have studied and debated the efficacy of those initiatives for decades. view article arw

Lake Travis ISD Superintendent Paul Norton spoke with Community Impact about the district’s legislative priorities for a special session underway. What you need to know Texas lawmakers convened Oct. 9 for a third special session concerning school choice legislation known as education savings accounts at the direction of Gov. Greg Abbott. The voucher-like program would allow parents to use taxpayer dollars to pay for private school or other educational expenses if they remove their children from public school. On Oct. 12, the Texas Senate passed a bill that would create a $500 million ESA program allocating $8,000 per child. Like many local school districts, LTISD is opposed to ESAs and vouchers as private schools are not held to the same accountability standards as public school districts, Norton said. view article arw

TASBO names Kristi Clark into new position as Chief Policy Officer. Formerly, she worked for TASB. view article arw

Houston ISD’s state-appointed superintendent, Mike Miles, has said repeatedly that the district needs to improve student outcomes, particularly for low-income, Hispanic and Black students, but the district may be lacking a key ingredient that experts say is critical to reform: additional money.  HISD, like many school districts in the U.S., has faced disparities in student academic achievement based on race and family income for years. To close that gap, Miles has routed millions of district dollars to implement his New Education System model at nearly a third of HISD schools, which includes higher salaries and stipends for teachers, standardized curriculum and expanded school hours.  It’s unclear if the model will be effective at improving test scores in the district or if all the changes and disruption to schools could end up, in fact, lowering test scores. However, public school finance and education experts say there is one proven measure that could be done that would likely improve outcomes for low-income students and students of color in HISD and other Texas school districts — increasing funding for public schools. view article arw

Longview ISD will continue its ongoing desegregation efforts through a federal grant that will focus on Hispanic students by creating gaming science and digital arts programs at three campuses. The U.S. Department of Education announced the magnet schools assistance program grant award this month. view article arw

The district announced the launch of a petition called Take Action Argyle in a Sept. 28 news release, as previously reported by Community Impact. The petition asked for users to submit their information to send a prewritten letter to Gov. Greg Abbot's office asking for public education funding to be added to the session's agenda. Below are the concerns listed in the description of Take Action Argyle: view article arw