by Coy Holcombe.
Henry Carter, our transportation director, has recently completed the certification requirements for "Certified Pupil Transportation Official." This certification is obtained through the Texas Association for Pupil Transportation. According to a letter received from the Association, "Arriving at this level is no small process and you are to be commended on the time and effort you expended to achieve this goal."
Mr. Carter is in charge of the overall operation of our transportation department, which includes planning our bus routes and seeing that the bus routes all have certified drivers. Currently, EISD runs 19 different bus routes. Also working in the transportation department is our district mechanic, Harold Hemphill, and mechanic’s helper Willie Umana. Together, Mr. Carter, Harold, and Willie work to ensure that our student transportation is run in a safe and effective manner.
by Coy Holcombe.
I received word from our High School cheerleading sponsor, Sandy Sowers, that the Bulldog cheerleading squad brought home a first and third place award from their summer camp in Corpus Christi. Our squad placed third in the cheer competition and first in the dance competition. The really amazing part is that they were competition against 4A and 5A schools to win these awards!
In addition, Ariel Gilbert, Cody Clark, and Amanda Connerly were named All American Cheerleaders. Our bulldog mascot, Nick Austin, won Most Improved. The rest of the squad includes: Jordon Shewmaker, Ashley Cravey, Shawna Barrett, Mallory Keeling, Alexis Cravey, Jaci Akins, Hope Boykin, and Alicia Ortiz.
Congratulations to Sandy Sowers and all the members of the cheerleading squad for their accomplishments!
by Coy Holcombe.
Below is part of a letter received from TEA regarding the new graduation requirements that go into effect on September 1, 2009. The new requirements were part of HB 3 passed in this last legislative session. Overall, HB 3 granted greater flexibility in the recommended and distinguished graduation plans and provided more guidelines for the minimum plan. One interesting note is the last paragraph of the letter which states that the new requirements will be in effect for all students beginning September 1.
With the passage of House Bill (HB) 3, new graduation requirements will take effect on September 1, 2009. These new requirements supersede the graduation requirements in 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 74.
Recommended High School Program (RHSP) and Distinguished Achievement Program (DAP)
For the recommended (RHSP) and advanced (DAP) high school programs, the total number of credits required for graduation and the requirement of 4 credits in the 4 foundation areas of mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies/economics did not change. HB 3 changes include:
providing more flexibility in the enrichment areas of the RHSP by increasing the number of elective credits to 6, requiring 1 credit of physical education, 2 credits of a language other than English (LOTE), and 1 credit of fine arts; and
providing more flexibility in the enrichment areas in the DAP by increasing the number of elective credits to 5, requiring 1 credit of physical education, 3 credits of LOTE, and 1 credit of fine arts.
Minimum High School Program
Permission to graduate under the minimum high school program must be agreed to in writing and signed by the student, student’s parent (or other person standing in parental relation to the student), and a school counselor or school administrator.
Under HB 3, to graduate under the minimum high school program, students must:
be at least 16 years of age;
have completed 2 credits required for graduation in each subject of the foundation curriculum; or
have failed to be promoted to the 10th grade one or more times as determined by the school district.
Students already in the minimum high school program do not have to meet the HB 3 requirements to enter the program, but must be given the choice of opting back into the recommended high school program.
Local districts may continue to adopt additional graduation requirements that go beyond the state requirements for graduation.
Typically, new graduation requirements take effect with the incoming freshman class. However, the flexibility in the new HB 3 graduation requirements impacts all high school students beginning with the 2009-2010 school year. All students are able to graduate under the HB 3 high school graduation requirements beginning in the 2009-10 school year, unless the district has adopted additional local requirements.
by Stan Sowers.
The varsity cheerleaders recently attended cheer camp in Corpus Christi. While there Ariel Gilbert, Cody Clark, and Amanda Connerly were named All American Cheerleaders. Only a small percentage of cheerleaders receive this honor. Of the approximately 300 participants, only 5 were asked to apply to be instructors for UCA next summer and 2 of those came from our squad, Ariel and Cody! Athough competing against 4A and 5A schools, the cheerleading squad received all superior ribbons and brought home 2 trophies. Grand Champion for Routine and Superior for Cheer. Our bulldog mascot, Nick Austin, won Most Improved. Other squad members were: Jordon Shewmaker, Ashley Cravey, Shawna Barrett, Mallory Keeling, Alexis Cravey, Jaci Akins, Hope Boykin, and Alicia Ortiz. Way to go team!
by Coy Holcombe.
Attached to this entry is the Texas Municipal Report for Eustace ISD. The Report contains just about anything you would want to know about the construction bonds sold by the district. The report also contains historical information about tax rates, the top ten tax payers of the district, as well as overall information about Henderson County. If you have any questions about the report, please feel free to email me at email@example.com.
I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable 4th of July.
by Coy Holcombe.
Back from Austin. Overall, it was a good conference with lots of information and thoughts on the 81st legislature and the impact it will have on education. On Tuesday, we started with a panel of experts on education. Amy Beneski, associate executive director of TASA, went first. She reviewed events of the 81st legislature. One of her most interesting statements had to do with the next biennium. She stated that there are already rumors that the 82nd legislature will face a budget short fall exceeding $10 billion.
Beaman Floyd, also with TASA, was the next panel member. While he also reviewed recent legislative matters, he also talked about the impact that the economy has had on the TRS fund. He stated that before the economic downturn, the TRS fund was valued at around $100 billion. During the first part of the downturn, the fund dropped as low as $60 billion. It has now rebounded to more than $80 billion.
Lynn Moak, of Moak, Casey and Associates, discussed some of the financial issues that came out of the 81st legislature. He pointed out the while there was $2 billion funneled into education this session, that this $2 billion represents about 2% of overall education funding over the biennium. He also stated that there seems to be a disconnect between standards and resources and that the hard choices were left up to the local districts.
David Thompson, an education law attorney, was the last panel member. Overall, he stated that he would give this legislative session a C+ or a B-. He stated that he believed that this legislative session will be remembered as a session characterized by missed chances and opportunities. Mr. Thompson also speculated about how a future lawsuit against the state on funding might play out.
The next session featured Omar Garcia discussing the latest template for estimating state aid. Omar is the creator of the state aid template for districts. He worked in the TEA financial division for a number of years. He is now a financial consultant with Region 13 in Austin. Omar pointed out that while there was some movement to get back to a formula driven system. that we are still very much in a target revenue system: the target levels are just higher than they were in the previous funding system. He re-emphasized what we had heard on Monday: school districts will now have to apply for a certain amount of state funding and submit electronic payment requests to receive this money. There will be more coding requirements because this money is actually federal money. Omar stated that the high school allotment funds are now being flowed through the foundation school formula and would not require a separate code. Instead a new intent code would be developed by TEA to help track these funds. Finally, Omar stated that he felt that indirect costs percentages would increase. This will be a decision made by the commissioner.
Overall, a good conference. There are still many questions that need to be answered. I know that TEA is working to get these answers to districts as soon as possible. As we receive these answers, we will pass on that information to you.