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Posts Tagged ‘Katy ISD’

WADA gap widens under HB 3646

Posted by Texas Education on May 20, 2009

If we didn’t have enough problems with funding, HB 3646 by Rep. Scott Hochberg, well, suffice it to say that under HB 3646 Humble ISD will receive a $100 per WADA increase. Katy ISD, which already receives approximately $300 more per WADA than we do, will receive an additional $272 per WADA under HB 3646! Looks like the equity gap widens to me! And Sheldon ISD which already receives about $1,100 more per WADA than we do, will receive the same $100 per WADA increase as we do under HB 3646.

Also under HB 3646 is a $1.9 billion school finance reform package that purports to improve funding equity among districts and provides a $800 across the board salary increase for teachers. However for us, is much too little by way of needed relief for the next biennium and it is far from equitable!

HB 3646 will provide between $4 – $5 million in new money to our district in each year of the biennium and nearly half of those funds would have to be used to fund the $800 salary increase to teachers! Now there is no debating that teachers not only need and deserve a salary increase of way more than $800, BUT here we go again with the Legislature giving with the right hand and taking some back with the left hand trick! Having cut $27 million from our operating budget since 2002 and being frozen at the 2005-06 total operating revenue level, we need much more than $4 – $5 million annually from the state to even get close to where we were in 2004-05!

Our only hope for getting the right thing done in Austin now lies with Lt. Gov. Dewhurst and the Senate. Whether the Senate Education Committee advances Sen. Van de Putte’s SB 982 or Sen. Shapiro’s SB 2392, we need them to right the wrongs of HB 3646!

PLEASE contact the members of the Senate Education Committee and urge them to truly address adequacy and equity in funding to our schools. For me, it is not a threat, it is just a statement of fact, the only outcome of HB 3646 for us is heading back to court.

Sen. Florence Shapiro, Chair
Sen. Dan Patrick, Vice Chair
Sen. Tommy Williams
Sen. Leticia Van de Putte
Sen. Royce West
Sen. Mario Gallegos
Sen. Steve Ogden
Sen. Wendy Davis
Sen. Kip Averitt

Posted in financing, funding, good stuff - not quite, texas education | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The latest from the ISD’s in Texas on school openings

Posted by Texas Education on September 18, 2008

The following is from chron.com on the listings and explanations of the schools and when they will be opening.

The latest from Katy ISD

Katy ISD plans to re-open on Monday, but high school football returns tonight.

See a story from Chronicle high school sports reporter Sam Khan Jr.

For a complete schedule of Katy ISD football and volleyball games this weekend, see the Katy ISD Web site.

The latest from Spring ISD

Regina Curry, Spring ISD’s assistant superintendent for communication and community relations, said only seven of the district’s 32 school campuses had power on Wednesday. Also, several of the district’s support buildings were without electrical power.

The district has reported that school is closed through Friday, Feb. 19 and that employees need not report to work unless notified by a supervisor.

“It is hard for us to do a good, solid damage assessment until power is restored to a building,” Curry said. “We have water in some buildings and there is debris everywhere.”

“We are in bad shape,” she said. “We have widespread damage.”

Once power is restored to a school, Curry said, the district’s damage assessment teams get to work evaluating the damage and repairs that need to be made. District personnel will make the repairs they able to make but some will have to be contracted to outside repair companies.

“It will take a while to get our buildings clean and make sure they are safe,” she said. “Once the schools are ready, we will call our staff back first and get them ready to receive students.”

At the same time, Curry said district officials must ensure that there is clean water and food for students at those schools, and safe transportation routes.

Curry said in addition to making sure school are safe for students’ and staff members’ return, district officials are very concerned about the status of those students, their families and staff members.

“We have a lot of families who need access to community resources and we are trying to help them get that,” Curry said.

Curry said the district would continue contacting students’ families and staff members through the automated telephone messaging system, and would post updates to the web site – www.springisd.info/.

—Reported by correspondent Kim Jackson

Posted by HowardD at 09:41 AM in

The latest from Cy-Fair ISD

Cy-Fair ISD spokesperson Kelli Durham said schools and 18 support facilities will be closed until the conditions are safe for students and staff members.

“We have to have power before we can begin making progress by leaps and bounds,” Durham said.

Durham said that district personnel immediately mobilized after Hurricane Ike passed through the area Saturday, and assessment teams started inspecting schools to determine the general condition of each property.

Some repair work started immediately – manually clearing out water that had seeped into school buildings – but it was not until electrical power was restored that that the teams were able to determine if there was damage to mechanical equipment and the building’s infrastructure.

She said at an emergency board meeting Sunday, the Cy-Fair ISD board gave district personnel the green-light to begin repair work immediately. They are able to issue purchase orders and hire contractors, when needed, to get the work done as soon as possible.

“Over 600 staff members and contractors have been working around the clock,” Durham said. “Damage is being remediated as soon as we find it.”

District officials are also communicating with local water districts to determine the status of water service and quality, and are evaluating road conditions and intersections to make sure they are safe for buses transporting students.

“We have over 719 bus routes,” Durham said. “A traffic signal that has become a 4-way stop due to a power outage is just too dangerous for our buses to maneuver.”

“One of the biggest challenges facing us is the damage to infrastructures surrounding our schools,” she said.

She said the district has been contacting parents and staff members through an automated phone message system and would continue to do so. They are also posting updates to the district’s web site – www.cfisd.net - sending out thousands of e-mail updates and working with the media get important information out to the community.

—Reported by correspondent Kim Jackson

FROM A CFISD press release:

Due to lack of power at many schools and support facilities, wind and water damage and other hurricane-related issues, CFISD will remain closed for the entire week, through Friday, September 19.

When it became imminent that Houston would be hit by Hurricane Ike, the district’s emergency and restoration teams began making preparations. Hours after Ike hit, assessment teams were dispersed to make initial damage reports. Emergency, assessment and restoration teams have been working continually.

Because the impact of Hurricane Ike was so widespread, one of many challenges has been the availability of staff. For example, about 60 percent of the operations staff has been unable to report due to personal circumstances resulting from the hurricane.

Immediate challenges for the district include those similar to what parents and property owners are experiencing: lack of power and a variety of mechanical and structural issues.

The district has 78 schools and 18 support facilities to be ready for the return of more than 100,000 students and 13,000 employees.

The aftermath of Hurricane Ike brings the onset of concerns about water quality. Several Municipal Utility Districts have contacted CFISD to announce the need to boil water. More than 40 MUDs are represented within the 186-mile radius of the district. The emergency team is initiating contact with each of the MUDs that have not shared the status of water quality within their jurisdiction.

Other obstacles include the delivery of supplies and food products to the district, as well as nonfunctional traffic lights that would interfere with the safe and timely delivery of students traveling to and from school.

The district will remain closed until schools and facilities are safe for students and staff members.

Parents and key communicators have received regular updates regarding school closings through an automated calling system as well as updates that are posted on the district website. If parents emergency phone numbers change throughout the year, it is their responsibility to contact the schools with this information.

Click here for the latest on Houston-area school closings.

Posted by HowardD at 09:40 AM in

The latest from Tomball ISD

As of Thursday morning, Tomball students and staff members are being asked to report to school on Monday, Sept. 22, but district officials are keeping a close eye on the status of school repairs and power outages and could reevaluate that decision at the end of the week, said Staci Stanfield Tomball ISD’s director of communications.

“It is going to depend on electricity,” Stanfield said. “We anticipate we will have power restored to all of our buildings by Monday.”

As of Tuesday, all but five schools had electricity, she said.
Based on damage assessments there were minor leaks in some buildings, and all roofs were intact, she said.

“We have been very lucky – all of our buildings are intact,” Stanfield said.

The district would continue to utilize the telephone messaging system to deliver information to students and staff members.

A core group of personnel would continue to meet each day to discuss the status of building repairs, power outages and any other matters related to what to do in the wake of Hurricane Ike.

Stanfield said Tomball ISD Superintendent John Neubauer would make the final decision about the re-opening of the district’s schools and facilities.
The districts web address is www.tomballisd.net

—Reported by correspondent Kim Jackson

Posted by HowardD at 09:39 AM in

The latest from Pearland ISD

Chronicle reporter Robert Stanton talked with Pearland ISD Superintendent Bonnie Cain:

Hurricane Ike dealt Pearland schools a severe blow, knocking out power throughout the district, damaging roofs and flooding classrooms. Superintendent Bonny Cain estimates total losses of $2 million.

Here’s what she told Robert on Wednesday:

We didn’t have any loss of life. Our information shows that all of our students are safe and all of our staff is safe. While our facilities did sustain damage, it was not the staggering damage that other school districts have received. So, we hope to be able to return to school sometime next week.

For a list of school damage and more Pearland ISD, click here.

Posted by HowardD at 09:33 AM in

September 17, 2008

The latest from Conroe ISD

Conroe Independent School District will evaluate their campuses Friday before issuing a list of schools expected to hold classes Monday, Sept. 22.

The district will post the school openings after 5 p.m. Friday, as well as distribute them to local radio stations, television and print media, said Kathy Clark, director of communications for Conroe ISD.

Each campus marquee will also announce whether students should report to school Monday. Clark said the district’s buildings suffered minimal damage beyond some fallen trees and roofing problems, but electricity is still the major issue. All schools with power as of 2 p.m. Friday will open Monday.

“No power, no school,” Clark said. “The whole issue is created in large part because we’re such a big school district geographically. That’s the reason behind the staggered openings.”

Conroe ISD covers 348 square miles in Montgomery County with schools in Conroe and The Woodlands.

Clark said all district employees are directed to call their supervisors for an update on whether or not school will be held at their campus next week.

“We want the community to get back to normalcy as soon as possible,” she said.

For more information, residents can call the district’s main number at 936-709-7752 or visit their Web site at www.conroeisd.net.

-KIMBERLY STAUFFER

Click here for the latest on Houston-area school closings.

Posted by Samira Rizvi at 06:58 PM in

The latest from Humble ISD

Humble Independent School District Executive Director of Public Relations Karen Collier said that the tentative plan for the school district is to have employees report for work on Monday, Sept. 22 and for students to report back to school Tuesday, Sept. 23.

“But let me stress, those plans are subject to change,” said Collier. “Right now we have three schools (out of 36 campuses) that have power. Once we establish power, we then need to replenish our food supply and then we need to get the computer systems working. Once all that is done, we should be ready for the kids.”

Light damage to school campuses

Humble Independent School District leaders say overall damage to school campuses has been light, though several areas have been hit hard by Hurricane Ike.

Superintendent Guy Sconzo said in an e-mail that many buildings were spared from more than superficial damages, while others sustained heavier losses.

“There is no major damage, but we have serious damage to over a dozen portable classrooms,” he said.

Like many other school districts, Humble ISD has called off classes through Friday and set for students to return to campuses on Monday.

Sconzo said the district is working hard at making that timeline, though no concrete estimates can be made until later this week.

“So long as power returns, we could be ready for Monday, but we don’t know for sure” he said. “Only four campuses have power at this time.”

He said the district is also working on rescheduling many of the events that had been cancelled after the storm hit, including an open house at Humble High School. The annual Humble ISD Education Foundation golf tournament has also been cancelled.

“We will try to reschedule as many activities and events that have been cancelled as possible,” he said.

Updates are being posted to the district’s Web site at www.humble.k12.tx.us.

Click here for the latest on Houston-area school closings.

Posted by HowardD at 06:55 PM in

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Posted in In-the-news, Texas schools | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Transparency within Katy ISD

Posted by Texas Education on July 7, 2008

This goes along with ethics, leadership and accountability…transparency! Our schools SHOULD have transparency, nothing should be hidden. In today’s outlook Alton Frailey, Katy ISD super responds on the article recently in the Chronicle.

Fortunately, the Katy trustees backed away from their absurd plan to ask state lawmakers to require information seekers to justify their requests. But their last-minute reversal before the scheduled vote was not because the trustees suddenly saw the wrongheadedness of the proposal. Rather, board members and Katy Superintendent Alton Frailey decided they didn’t want to fade the heat for preventing the community from knowing what goes on inside Katy ISD.

“I don’t want our board to be conflicted and misconstrued and misrepresented as trying to thwart public information,” Frailey said. “I’m not wanting to carry the water, but I have put the bucket in the well.”

Had the board proceeded, the public would have rightly seen it as being against open government.

Mr. Frailey says:

The editorial board should be applauded for noting that “repetitive, massive or petty requests for public information that are unfocused fishing expeditions or meant to harass administrators are aggravating and can cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.” This issue is real and is very much unknown by the majority of taxpayers. We have received feedback from those angry at the thought of having to tell the public why they are using public resources. But we have also received feedback from those angry that they are not allowed to know why someone is using a public resource their tax dollars provide.

This is certainly quite a controversial issue. We don’t want unwarranted, repetitive or fishing expeditions, but…we do want our leaders, administrator and yes, even our teachers to know they should keep everything above board and have nothing to hide. But, and I know this from personal experience, it is good to disclose information that needs to be out in the open. It CAN save thousands of dollars. Sometimes our officials and administrators don’t always know what is going on, and this is one way the public and those in charge can find out shady deals, hidden agendas, and down right corruptness.

I do applaud Mr. Frailey and the board for not preventing the community from knowing what goes on inside Katy ISD. If we keep the lines of communication open, have a trusting relationship, less and less people will find the need to go on fishing expeditions.

Wow, and speaking of transparency, A conversation on transparency on their website.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Ethics, In-the-news, leadership, Texas schools | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

What you need to know!!!

Posted by Texas Education on June 28, 2008

Districts face higher costs – for fuel, insurance, supplies, employee compensation and more – and yet state funding is frozen at the level received in the 2005-2006 school year. The state funding formula does not account for inflation.

This is problematic, wouldn’t you say?

There are huge discrepancies from one district to another in the amount of sate funding that districts receive based on WADA (weighted average daily attendance.) For example, Humble ISD receives $4,937 per WADA while Katy ISD receives $5,174 per WADA. It would mean an additional $9.2 million in sate aid if Humble ISD was to receive the same WADA as Katy ISD.

The state transportation allotment to school districts has not been increased since 1984.

Umm, how would you like to be working off income from 1984??? This is insane. I honestly can’t believe the Texas Legislature is putting it’s constituents through this. How is this even remotely fair???

Districts do not benefit from increased property valuation. The state reduces, dollar for dollar, the amount it sends to districts receiving more money from local taxpayers due to raising property values.

Again, fair?? I think not. Oh, but there’s more:

The Humble ISD Board, along with school boards all over the state, faces difficult decisions in adopting a budget for next year. With millions in cuts and much more to come, discussion of a possible roll-back election is beginning to be heard in the community. A tax rollback election means that residents would vote on whether to allow the district to raise the property tax rate to generate more operating money. School income is essentially frozen in Texas, since any rise in property values benefits the state, not the school district. The state decreases its share of aid to the schools when property taxes rise.

Wow, so, come fall, we need to make sure we VOTE the tax increase. I know, I know, we certainly are taxed to death, but, unless we want our school district to become a ‘minimal’ school district, or worse – close, we HAVE to do this.

This information was obtained from the Humble ISD website.

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