What is Equity?

Today, I want to look at the concept of equity in school funding. The best way to see the concept of equity is to look at an example. Currently, EISD is receiving about $4,777 per WADA (weighted average daily attendance). For the sake of calculations, let’s assume that our current WADA is about 1850. We will compare our funding to another district with the same WADA, but at a different revenue per WADA.

                                              EISD                  Example ISD                               Funding Gap

Revenue per WADA $4,777 $5,777 $1,000 per WADA
WADA 1850 1850
$8,837,450 $10,687,450 $1,850,000

 

Since our current funding system went into place in 2006, and since we will probably have the current funding system through this current biennium, over a 7 year period, the funding gap between EISD and the example shown would be almost $13,000,000. Unfortunately, this is not an extreme example. This would be a fairly average example for EISD. There are other districts funded at a much greater disparity than $1,000 per WADA. Imagine the funding gap for a district funded at $2,500 more than EISD. Such funding gaps do exist. This example shows the lack of equity in our current finance system.

This is a reality that exists. Not only does this affect our schools, but it affects our local communities and our local businesses. Districts with more funding can afford to hire additional personal and to provide those staff members with better salaries. Better salaries means that school personnel will have more discretionary income to spend at restaurants, movie theaters, grocery stores, clothing stores, etc.

Since this is not just a school district issue, the Taxpayer and Student Fairness Coalition is asking for support from community members as part of the coalition. It does not cost anything to become a supporter of the coalition and everyone is welcome to sign up as a supporter. To sign up in support of the Coalition, you can visit the Equity Center’s homepage at www.equitycenter.org. At the bottom of the page, there is box that says “Join the Fight”. You can click on this box and sign up to show your support for our schools. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at cholcombe@eustaceisd.net.

Update on Lawsuit

During the Mid-Winter Conference this past week, I attended two sessions related to the lawsuit filed by the Texas Taxpayer and Student Fairness Coalition. The first session was a workshop hosted by the Equity Center. The second session was an actual Coalition meeting. I would like to share some of the information I received at these meetings.

As of last Sunday, there were 392 school districts involved with the Texas Taxpayer and Student Fairness Coalition. In addition, there were another 154 districts involved in one of the other three lawsuit groups. That makes a total of 546 districts in the state that are involved in one of the four lawsuits. That represents 53% of the total districts in the state. These districts contain over 3 million students.

Attorneys for the coalition are expecting a conference with all the lawyers to be called by the presiding judge in the next few weeks. The lawyers involved in the suits have already had two meetings. It is anticipated that the case will be tried sometime in October or November.

As this case progresses, I want everyone to have all the information possible so that you can have a clear understanding of why we are at this point. Over the next few days, we will be discussing other aspects of school funding, the lawsuit, and equity. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at cholcombe@eustaceisd.net.

Leadership Circle Award and This Week

We received word last week from the state comptroller’s office that EISD has earned the Gold Leadership Award for the third year in a row. The Leadership Awards are based on the level of transparency that a local government entity provides on its website. The Gold Award is the highest award given. Out of a possible 20 points, EISD scored 18. The awards are based on documents and information provided through the website such as budget information, check registries, audit reports, and contact information. Points are also earned for the ease of access to the information. This is an award that everyone that works in EISD, or lives in EISD, should be proud. I want to thank our webmaster, Michelle Cavazos for her great work on our website. She is responsible for the overall design of the site and for posting materials.

This Week

The Intermediate is having their spring semester book fair this week. The book fair will be open from 8:30 – 3:30 each day.

Tuesday – HS basketball v. Blooming Grove – girls last game of the season – senior night for the girls; Softball scrimmage v. Athens – 5:30

Friday – HS boys basketball v. Buffalo 5:00; Baseball scrimmage at Scurry – 5:00; Softball scrimmage v. Kerens – 6:00

I hope everyone has a great week!

Update on UIL Realignment

Yesterday, the UIL released the football and basketball districts for 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years. Because of the way football districts are formed in class 2A, the football districts will not match any of the other districts. The football districts are already divided by school size into a larger school division (Division I) and a smaller school division (Division II). All the other sports in 2A have all the schools, regardless of size, competing together in district play.

Football District – Our new football district consists of the following teams: Eustace, Grand Saline, Kemp, Lone Oak, Malakoff, Quitman, and Winnsboro. None of these teams are in our current football district. With an odd number of teams, we will have an open date during district play.

Basketball District – Our new basketball district consists of the following teams: Eustace, Dallas Faith Family, Dallas Life Oak Cliff, Kemp, Malakoff, Palmer, Red Oak Life, and Scurry-Rosser. Malakoff is the only team that is in our current basketball district.

Cut Off Numbers – The following numbers were used to determine the different classifications:

5A – 2090 & up
4A – 1005 – 2089
3A – 450 – 1004
2A – 200 – 449
1A – 199 & below

The cutoff between Division I and Division II football districts was 297.5.

If you would like more information about the realignment process, including an interactive map displaying all the districts, visit the UIL website at http://www.utexas.edu/uil/.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

UIL Realignment

The Mid-Winter conference ended yesterday. Overall, it was one of the best conferences I have attended in recent years. Over the next few days, I will be sharing some of the information I received at the conference. By far, the highlight of the conference was the speech by Robert Scott, Commissioner of Education. Today, I noted that Commissioner Scott is already receiving criticism from some over his speech. It is unfortunate that we have adults in leadership roles in this state that still believe the quality of a student’s education is measured by a number on a standardized test. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with holding schools and educators accountable for student learning; however, trying to measure that learning solely by a test given on one day out of 180 is not logical. I wonder how many adults would like their job performances judged by how they do on one day out of the year: does not seem very practical.

At 9:00 AM today, the UIL will release the realignment for districts for the next two years. The football districts and basketball districts should be released today. The other districts will be released over the next few weeks. Check our Twitter feed on our homepage for information on the realignment.

Living Math Books…

via Engaging the Digital Natives by Jerri Davis

Living Math Book Lists is a blog that lists many, many books that present mathematical concepts based in real life situations. Living Math Book Lists are books that make math more relevant to the reader. Living Math Book Lists lists about 50 math categories which link to books relevant to the math concept. The blog links the book titles to Amazon where you can read more about a particular book. The blog author works to frequently add new titles to Living Math Book Lists.

Living Math Book Lists would be a great resource for the math class. I learned about Living Math Book Lists from the blog, Techy Things Teachers Should Try from the Bryan ISD.