Claycomb Associates, Architects

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Brownsville Independent School District announced their proposed plan to consolidate schools has changed. The school district initially presented a proposal during a budget committee meeting on March 30. The schools considered in the consolidation were Cromack Elementary and Castañeda Elementary and Brownsville Learning Academy and Brownsville Academic Center. Educators from some of the schools and the Association of Brownsville Educators (AOBE) expressed concerns because they were unaware of the changes until hours before the budget committee meeting. view article arw

WILLS POINT, Texas (KETK) – The Wills Point ISD Board of Trustees voted on Monday to increase the salaries for their teachers. The district is raising their first-year teacher salary to $50,000, which is $16,340 greater than the state minimum salary. Schools cancel, delay classes after Tuesday storm Officials also approved a $1.5 million increase to their compensation budget compared to the previous year. This means they were able to give raises, make market adjustments and give stipend increases. The board gave the green light for sign on bonuses for critical needs. Bus drivers at Wills Point ISD will also get paid $20 per hour. view article arw

Mesquite ISD’s board of trustees unanimously approved a pay bump for workers for the 2022-23 school year at a Monday meeting. All staff will get a 3% raise. The minimum hourly pay for paraprofessionals and other employees was also increased to $13. The district will again offer its annual lump sum payment for all eligible employees in November. view article arw

Not much has changed as far as the “fiscal cliff” that threatens Midland ISD. Midland ISD still receives “transition grant funding” from the state. That amount was projected to be $61.649 million this school year and more than $62 million in both 2022-23 and 2023-24. The funding is connected with comprehensive school finance legislation passed in the 2019 Texas Legislative session. That legislation helped lower or “compress” property tax rates in districts across the state. However, less money coming into state coffers couldn’t mean less money going back to districts immediately, so HB3 included a mechanism designed to provide a source of temporary transition aid to school districts and charter schools that receive less than a threshold amount of state and local funding under HB 3. To examine why the term “fiscal cliff” might be used by district officials, one should look at the percent of the transition funding compared to the total maintenance and operations (M&O) expenditures.    (14) view article arw

Houston ISD overestimated its spending by nearly $300 million over the last five years only to end that same period with more than $300 million in additional surplus funds even as the district moved to eliminate teaching positions, teacher compensation ranked below other districts in the region and administrators urged tighter spending, according to an outside audit of the district’s finances. The surpluses nearly doubled HISD’s unassigned general fund balances during the last half-decade, putting the district’s reserves “well in excess of standards” the auditors wrote in their draft report last November. The district’s total fund balance has increased by $258 million since 2016 — with $170 million in its unassigned fund balance, HISD Chief Financial Officer Glenn Reed said. view article arw

After making recapture payments of more than $1 billion to the state over the last six years, Plano ISD officials project the district’s largest bill so far will come next school year. Chief Financial Officer Johnny Hill anticipates PISD will pay nearly $218 million to the state in mid-2023. This year’s payment of almost $213 million is projected to give the district the second largest recapture bill in the state, behind only Austin ISD. Hill said PISD could remain second in the state next year, depending on what Houston ISD has to pay. view article arw

Austin school district leaders are projecting property values and tax collections will grow 8% for the 2022-23 fiscal year, amounting to an estimated $1.5 billion. But they’re proposing $51.9 million in cuts in a draft budget for the upcoming school year, including by eliminating 632 jobs.  That’s because the school district expects to send $798.6 million — more than half of the revenue — to the state under a program known as recapture, meant to support school districts with less property wealth per student.  The job cuts in the district’s latest budget proposal would reduce staffing mostly through attrition, unfilled vacancies and layoffs in the district’s central office, leaving campuses largely unscathed. But district leaders project annual recapture payments could grow to $1 billion in about three years because of rising property values and lower or flat enrollment. view article arw

Plano ISD encountered three inclement weather days during the February cold snap, and a resolution authorizing wage payments to district employees for this foregone time was unanimously approved by the Plano ISD Board of Trustees in a Monday meeting. This applies specifically to non-exempt employees, as defined in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a 1938 law that imposes fair labor standards and “time-and-a-half” overtime pay to employees working over 40 hours a week. view article arw

LEANDER, Texas - Leander Independent School District's 2022-23 budget will compensate for rising property values in Williamson County. Taxable values in the county are expected to rise by 38% for the 2022 tax year. Despite the increase, LISD says it does not realize additional revenues for operations. Rather, the district's Chief Financial Officer Elaine Cogburn detailed $7.2 million in budget cuts identified by administration. These cuts include a decrease in funding for major maintenance projects, bringing LISD's substitute teacher program in-house, redesigning bus routes and changes to the three-year-old PreK program, among other things. The district says these cuts will reflect a minimal impact to campuses and reductions in department operating budgets. view article arw

Release 4 is now available for download. This release incorporates my understanding of the methodology currently laid out by TEA regarding the attendance rate hold harmless for the 2021-22 school year. Also, the Fast Growth Allotment for qualifying districts has been loaded for the 2022-23 school year. In addition, the ASAHE for M&O was not working correctly and has been fixed. Other minor changes were made as well (See Notes tab).    (06) view article arw

At a special meeting of the Conroe ISD board of trustees held April 5, the board unanimously approved a 2022-23 employee pay plan presented at a workshop held earlier that afternoon. The plan includes a $1,500 pay increase for teachers, a 2% increase for nonteachers and starting pay for hourly employees beginning at $13 per hour as well as a new teacher starting salary of $60,000. view article arw

Houston ISD Superintendent Millard House II on Wednesday said he is scrapping a plan that would have centralized the funding of specific positions and programs and instead asking administrators to come up with a plan that would let campus principals maintain control over their budgets while requiring they staff key positions and provide critical services. view article arw

Newton ISD teachers will see a pay increase for the 2022-23 school year. At its March meeting, the NISD school board approved a new teacher pay scale, with base salary beginning at $43,100 for the next academic year. That is up $8,800 from the current base salary of $34,300. view article arw

The Dallas ISD board of trustees approved a nearly 22% increase to its pre-K tuition rates during a March 24 board meeting.  The city of Dallas offers free, scholarship and tuition-based pre-K education for 3- and 4-year-olds within the school district.  Students who meet certain criteria, such as being homeless or unable to speak English, are eligible for free and scholarship-based pre-K. Students who do not meet the eligibility criteria for free or scholarship-based pre-K may be enrolled in the tuition-based program.  For the 2021-22 school year, the tuition for DISD pre-K was $4,100, or $410 per month. During the March 24 meeting, board trustees unanimously voted to increase that rate to $5,000, or $500 per month, for the 2022-23 school year.  The pre-K tuition rate limit enforced by the Texas Education Agency is $8,031, or $892 per month. view article arw

Elected leaders from Travis County and the city of Austin pledged at a joint meeting with Austin ISD late last month to help the school district confront its recurrent budgetary shortfalls. That inevitably means talking about recapture, the Texas "Robin Hood" law that requires property-wealthy districts to send their "excess" tax revenues to the state, in theory to redistribute to the poorest school districts. In practice, "so much of it is not going into education," said AISD Trustee Lynn Boswell. "If we took the $1.4 billion" in statewide recapture payments in 2021-22 "and put it all back into education, it would increase per-student funding by roughly $250 per kid, which isn't enough to solve our education crisis, but it matters." view article arw

Trustees in March approved a shift of some tax rates to allocate additional funds for teacher salaries and other operating costs.  Facing "recapture" for the first time in years and a projected $35.7 million budget deficit for the 2022-23 school year, Leander ISD trustees voted to shift funds from the Interest and Sinking tax … view article arw

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Education Agency announced funding will be available to schools in Texas who are experiencing a decrease in attendance after the pandemic forced schools to teach virtually. The adjusted state funding will also be based on students attending school remotely, and will apply to the first four reporting periods of the current school year. Currently, schools in Texas are funded based on the number of students enrolled and the average daily attendance rate. view article arw

The Houston Independent School District may reconsider proposed budget changes that would have centralized the funding of certain positions and programs, a top district official told principals Monday. “Our cabinet team is revisiting the budget and staff allocation strategy this week. As a result, we need to pause all budget meetings and your planning based on the previous allocation sheets,” Chief of Schools Denise Watts told principals via e-mail. “It is my hope that we will be able to communicate how to move forward soon. I apologize for any frustration or confusion that this may cause. I appreciate your flexibility and patience.” view article arw

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Currently, Houston ISD principals have a lot of say in how they use their budget. They can choose, for example, if they hire a full-time nurse or perhaps an art teacher instead. However, HISD Superintendent Millard House II had plans to change that. House plans for funds to come from the central office for certain staff and programs, making a baseline of resources and equitable staffing across all of the schools in the district. view article arw

The Houston Independent School District may reconsider proposed budget changes that would have centralized the funding of certain positions and programs, a top district official told principals Monday. “Our cabinet team is revisiting the budget and staff allocation strategy this week. As a result, we need to pause all budget meetings and your planning based on the previous allocation sheets,” Chief of Schools Denise Watts told principals via e-mail. “It is my hope that we will be able to communicate how to move forward soon. I apologize for any frustration or confusion that this may cause. I appreciate your flexibility and patience.” view article arw

As Houston ISD officials continue to discuss details of a five-year strategic plan designed to reshape how the district operates, new details were released March 31 for what the changes could mean at the campus level. Among the proposals in the plan is a shift from the district's current decentralized funding model—in which campus principals have autonomy in making almost all budget staffing and programming decisions—to a model in which each school is required to staff specific baseline positions; certain materials and services are funded from the central office; and principals can fill remaining holes using discretionary funds, which will be allocated according to a newly devised formula. At a March 31 budget workshop, Houston ISD Superintendent Millard House II outlined the changes in more detail and explained why they are being proposed. view article arw

GRAYSON COUNTY, Texas (KTEN) — Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Education Agency announced Tuesday that the funding formula for public schools across the state will be changed for the 2021-22 school year. Texas public schools are ordinarily funded by daily average attendance rather than enrollment numbers. But due to the interruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a change was made. "Your state revenue is so much dependent upon attending," said Sherman Independent School District Assistant Superintendent Tyson Bennett. "Whenever we face those challenges and you have less students attending, then you lose that revenue or potentially lose that revenue, it's really good to have an opportunity to make that up."    (31) view article arw

More than a month after Houston ISD Superintendent Millard House II unveiled a strategic plan aimed at making the district more equitable, trustees still have unanswered questions about how to pay for it and concerns about whether parents and community members understand some of the changes that would occur. Chief among the changes prompting some of those questions is House’s call to centralize funding for certain positions and programs, a shift from the district’s decentralized system that empowers school principals to spend their budgets as they see fit. view article arw

The Hutto Independent School District Board of Trustees accepted an application from Applied Materials for a Chapter 313 Agreement, a type of tax incentive offered by the state and local communities for businesses expanding in or relocating to Texas, as first reported by our partners at the Austin Business Journal. view article arw

A $2.4 billion semiconductor research and development lab could be coming to Hutto, according to a report from Community Impact. On Thursday, Hutto ISD's board of trustees reportedly accepted an application for a tax incentive in connection with the Applied Materials project. California-based Applied Materials provides supplies and services to semiconductor manufacturer view article arw

With a spike in COVID-19 cases in the late fall and winter, Wise County schools saw their daily attendance numbers lag. Local superintendents were left to wonder how their budgets would be impacted. Last month, Paradise ISD Superintendent Paul Uttley expressed his concern on the potential budget impact when asked about the projected statewide teacher shortage. “I am quite concerned that the state has still not figured out how to help school districts with funding this year as it relates to COVID,” Uttley said in March. “For example, PISD has had more COVID cases this year than last. Each student absence required students to stay home for 10 days, which in turn hurts funding. School districts cannot meet the needs of our students or staff, if the funding is not there.”    (01) view article arw

In Texas, schools are funded based on the number of students enrolled and the daily attendance on campus.  Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Education Agency announced Tuesday that public school districts may not lose funding because of low attendance rates caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  In Texas, schools are funded based on the number of students enrolled and the daily attendance on campus. Currently, schools receive a base allotment of $6,160 per student each year. The pandemic disrupted not only learning, but also enrollment, as some school districts reported lower figures than in non-COVID years.  The average daily attendance is calculated by the sum of children present divided by days of instruction that schools are required to give. Texas schools have to be open for a minimum of 75,600 minutes over a school year, which includes recess and lunch.    (30) view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas - Austin ISD says that it paid hundreds of millions more than other Texas school districts in recapture payments for the 2020-21 school year.  According to the district, Austin ISD paid $710,604,433 in recapture for the previous school year – that’s almost half of the district's annual budget of $1.7 billion.  For reference, Houston ISD, which is the largest school district in Texas and the eighth-largest in the nation, only paid $197,809,821 in recapture for the same school year. Houston ISD also serves more than double the number of students as Austin ISD.  Let's take a look at the recapture payment system in Texas:    (31) view article arw

SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - Earlier this week, Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Education Agency announced that school districts in Texas may be eligible for additional funding. The decision comes after numerous school systems reported huge revenue losses due to a drop in attendance. The districts are using the average attendance for the 2019 - 2020 school year, or pre-pandemic attendance to establish the upcoming amount of funding. Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operation of Sherman ISD, Tyson Bennett, says the decision will be a big help after the district reported a whopping one million dollar impact.  view article arw

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Tonight, many gathered in Woden to celebrate the merge of Etoile ISD in with Woden ISD. Superintendent Brady Taylor says this is the start of new developments. “We thought it’d be great to get the community a chance to come out and see the the building that they helped us, and provided us with,” said Taylor. Teachers and staff at Etoile are still figuring out the process of moving staff from their current campus to Woden. Superintendent Taylor says they unfortunately, they cannot bring all the teachers into their district but they are taking as many applications as they can. “We do need a lot of good people, teachers, and so we’re looking forward to interviewing a lot of them and then seeing where that leads,” stated Taylor.    (01) view article arw

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Parents and an education leader reacted to the announcement made by Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) on Tuesday, which stated public school districts may not lose funding due to attendance rates impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. view article arw

For over two decades, Houston Independent School District has doled out dollars in a way that drives more money to schools with more students in poverty and empowers principals with a meaningful say in how their dollars are spent. This equity- and school-focused funding approach is part of the district’s DNA and enshrined as a policy pillar. Now, the new superintendent is fast-tracking plans to reverse course and shift nearly a billion dollars in spending decisions away from school principals and up to central office, replacing a long-running student-based formula with a more rigid staffing one. view article arw

LUMBERTON — The Lumberton ISD school board president confirmed to KFDM/Fox 4's Angel San Juan that if trustees call for a tax rate increase election to fund teacher pay raises, the district would be seeking a 12 cent tax hike. A community committee met Tuesday night in Lumberton and Angel sat in on a portion of the meeting. School board president James Kersh acknowledged the need to be transparent with the public. He says a tax rate increase would help fund teacher pay raises and allow the district to hire more help for them in the classroom. Several on the committee spoke up about the urgency for the increased salaries for teachers, saying Lumberton ISD is losing qualified teachers to neighboring school districts because of the low pay at LISD, and those other school districts are offering salaries that are thousands of dollars higher. Kersh says raising taxes is difficult. That's why the school board is seeking community feedback. If the board goes to the voters requesting the 12 cent tax increase, the last day to call for that November election is August 22. view article arw

Tyler ISD is proud to be recognized by The Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO) with a 2022 Award of Merit for Purchasing Operations. The Award of Merit was established in 2009 to recognize Texas school districts, open- enrollment charter schools, and education services centers committed to following professional standards in acquiring goods and services. view article arw

Frenship ISD is proud to announce Lela Vela, Frenship ISD Director of Finance, has been selected as a 2022 RISE Award recipient by the Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO). Vela is one of only seven public education administrators across the State of Texas to receive the award this year. Vela and the other recipients of the RISE Award were selected based on their leadership qualities, achievements, and their desire to continue growing their career. The award also recognizes the recipients as future leaders who are on the rise in the school business community and profession. Vela has been with the Frenship family for 10 years, serving in various roles within the Frenship ISD Business Office including Accountant, Coordinator of Accounting, and now Director of Finance. Not only is Vela an active member of TASBO, earning their highest certification of Registered Texas School Business view article arw