School Finance Case Ruling

A few quick notes about upcoming events:

The varsity volleyball team travels to Tyler today to compete in the Tyler Tournament. The Lady Bulldogs will be playing at 1:45, 4:15, and 6:45. Game times for Saturday are not known at this time.

The varsity football team travels to Tyler on Saturday to take on  T. K. Gorman in the Tyler Football Classic. Kickoff will be at 7:00 at Tyler All Saints. Parking is very limited. The Mighty Bulldog Marching Band will also be performing as well as the Eustace Bulldogs varsity cheerleaders.

A reminder that Monday, September 1, is a holiday for students and staff in recognition of Labor Day.

After many months, the judge in the Texas school finance case has issued his final ruling. Judge Dietz found the current system of funding schools unconstitutional in the areas of suitability, adequacy, and equity. Below is a summary of his findings from the Texas Association of School Administrators:

In a 21-page Final Judgment, State District Judge John Dietz declared the Texas school finance system “constitutionally inadequate, unsuitable, and financially inefficient” and ordered that further funding stop “under the system until the constitutional infirmities are corrected.”

This decision comes 18 months after his original February 2013 ruling in favor of school districts. Dietz reopened the case to reconsider evidence after lawmakers provided partial restoration of state funding to school districts and made significant changes to the state’s testing and graduation requirements in the 83rd Legislative Session.

The specific findings of the court are as follows:

  • “[T]he Court finds that the Texas school finance system effectively imposes a state property tax in violation of Article VIII, Section 1-e of the Texas Constitution because school districts do not have meaningful discretion over the levy, assessment, and disbursement of local property taxes.”
  • “The Court further finds that the Legislature has failed to meet its constitutional duty to suitably provide for Texas public schools because the school finance system is structured, operated, and funded so that it cannot provide a constitutionally adequate education for all Texas schoolchildren.”
  • “Further, the school finance system is constitutionally inadequate because it cannot accomplish, and has not accomplished, a general diffusion of knowledge for all students due to insufficient funding.”
  • “Finally, the school finance system is financially inefficient because all Texas students do not have substantially equal access to the educational funds necessary to accomplish a general diffusion of knowledge.”

An appeal of the decision is expected.


I hope everyone has a great Labor Day Weekend!

Update on Enrollment

Over the first three days of the 2014-2015 school year, we have seen enrollment numbers grow each day. Below are the first three days numbers:

Monday – 25th Tuesday – 26th Wednesday – 27th
PPCD  3   3   3
EC 72   77   79
109   110   110
1st 122   123   125
2nd  120   121   123
  426   434   440
3rd 96   98   98
4th 97   99   99
5th 82   83   83
  275   280   280
6th 120   119   119
7th  103   107   114
8th  116   115   115
  339   341   348
12th 69   69   70
11th 114   114   116
10th 135   136   136
9th  119   119   122
  437   438   444
Total 1477   1493   1512

We have not had a total enrollment over 1,500 for many years. We are going to be monitoring certain grades to determine if additional teachers may be required.


Bulldog Bash 2014

Bulldog Bash 2104. Student athletes, cheerleaders, and band are showcased. State Championship Cross Country sign is unveiled. Coach Chuck Powers is presented with a banner marking his 800th…
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Bulldog Bash, Volleyball Tonight, & Called Board Meeting Tonight

Yesterday, the annual Bulldog Bash was held in the High School Gym. It was a standing room only crowd that came out to support the student athletes, cheerleaders, and band. A complete video of the Bash will be uploaded to the Eustace ISD YouTube channel later today. I want to thank everyone who came out and supported all the Bulldogs last night.

Afterwards, the High School version of Meet the Teacher Night was held in the cafeteria. Parents had the opportunity to meet the teachers at EHS and to obtain information on classes and programs.

Tonight, the 9th grade, JV, and varsity volleyball teams will be hosting Edgewood. The 9th grade game will start at 5:00.

The Eustace ISD Board of Trustees will hold a called meeting tonight.  Action items on the agenda include:

  • Consider amended budget
  • Consider Agreement to Assist Governmental Entity
  • Consider resignation of board member Michael Cates.

Our enrollment for the first day was up from a year ago. Yesterday, we had a total of 1,477 students enrolled. At the same time last year, we had a total of 1,446.




Welcome Back, Volleyball, and This Week

I want to welcome everyone to the 2014-2015 school year! This is going to be a great school year! There are great things that are already happening. Coach Chuck Powers just recorded his 800th victory as a volleyball coach. This is a milestone that few people have ever reached! Congratulations Coach Powers!!  In the process of getting to 800, the Lady Bulldogs placed 2nd in the Gold Bracket in the Eustace Tournament. Congratulations!! Pictures are below.

The annual Bulldog Bash is tonight at the old HS gym. The Bash provides an opportunity to meet all of our fall athletes, our cheerleaders, our band, and our High School faculty. It’s like a start of the year pep rally. Afterwards, parents of High School students may visit with their teachers in the cafeteria. Information about different programs will be available.

We have a very busy week ahead of us. So, let’s get started….

Monday – First day of school; Bulldog Bash – 6:00 PM Old HS Gym

Tuesday – Volleyball v. Edgewood – 5:00 PM; Called Board Meeting – 6:00 PM

Thursday – JV Football v. T. K. Gorman – 6:30

Friday – Varsity VB at Tyler Tournament

Saturday – Varsity VB at Tyler Tournament; Varsity Football v. T. K. Gorman at Tyler – 7:00 PM

Monday – September 1 – Labor Day Holiday

I hope everyone has a great first week!!

School Board Meeting Last Night

Last night, the Eustace ISD Board of Trustees held a public hearing to discuss the 2014-2015 budget and tax rate and also held their regular monthly meeting. The public hearing started at 6:30 and was held in the HS library. The Board received information about the property values of the district and how that would impact the I & S tax rate for the upcoming year. The Board also reviewed information about estimated state aid to be received in 2014-2015. Since this was a hearing, no action was taken on the budget or the tax rate.

Following the conclusion of the public hearing, the Board held their regular monthly meeting. The meeting started at approximately 7:05 and was held in the HS library. The EISD Board took the following actions at the meeting:

  • Reorganized the Board Officers as follows: Gary Walsh – President; Ashley McKee – Vice President; Bobby Ashton – Secretary
  • Approved the minutes of previous meetings.
  • Approved the financial reports as presented.
  • Approved the 2014-2015 budget as presented.
  • Adopted a tax rate of $1.04 for maintenance and operations and $0.1915 for interest and sinking (debt payment) for a total tax rate of $1.2315 for the 2014-2015 school year. This represents a decrease in the overall tax rate of $0.0349 from the previous year.
  • Accepted the bid from Texas Schools Cooperative for property, liability, and vehicle insurance as presented.
  • Approved the District Improvement Plan for the 2014-2015 school year.
  • Approved Attendance Committees as presented.
  • Approved the PDAS Appraisers as presented.
  • Approved the employment of Coressa Durnell, as teacher at the Primary campus; Brenda Gilbreath as instructional aide at the Middle School campus; and, Tessa Nevile as instructional aide at the High School campus.
  • Approved the substitute list as presented.
  • Approved the student transfers as presented.
  • Adjourned

Public Hearing and Board Meeting Tonight

Tonight, the EISD Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing to discuss the budget and proposed tax rate for the 2014-2015 school year. The public hearing will start at 6:30 PM and be held in the High School library. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

At 7:00 PM (or immediately after the hearing concludes), the Board of trustees will hold their regular monthly meeting. The Board will hear the following reports:

  •  2013-2014 District Improvement Plan Evaluation
  • District Accountability Summary
  • Campus Accountability Summary
  • Notice of Sheriff’s Sale
  • Letter from TEA – Division of Financial Compliance
  • Van Zandt County Appraisal District 2015 Budget
  • School Health Advisory Committee Annual Report

The Board will consider action on the following items:

  • Reorganization of Board Officers
  • Approve minutes of previous meetings
  • Financial Reports for July
  • 2014-2015 Budget
  • 2014-2015 Tax Rate
  • Bids on Property, Vehicle, and Liability Insurance for 14-15
  • District Improvement Plan for 2014-2015
  • Attendance Committees
  • PDAS Appraisers
  • Local Policy Update 100 (First Reading)

The Board will convene in closed session to consider personnel and staffing and student transfers. Any action on a closed session item will be made in open session.


This Week

Things will start to pick up this week in EISD. Tomorrow, we welcome all the staff members back for the official start of in-service for the 2014-2015 school year. Staff members will be involved in campus work and training activities from Tuesday – Friday. The first day for students will be Monday, August 25. This week will also feature a full schedule of events for our students and parents.

Tuesday – In-Service for all staff members; VB Dual Match at Palmer – 5:00; Public Hearing on Budget and Tax Rate – 6:30; Regular Monthly Board Meeting – 7:00 PM

Wednesday – In-Service for all staff members;

Thursday – In-service for all staff members; Fish Camp – 1:00 – 3:00; Meet the Teacher Night – 3:00 Primary New Students; 3:30 Primary Returning Students; 4:00 – Intermediate; 4:30 Middle School; Varsity VB Tournament in Eustace – Lady Bulldogs play at 3:00, 5:00, and 8:00; HS Football Scrimmage v. Quitman

Friday – In-service for all staff members; Eustace VB Tournament continues

Saturday – Eustace VB Tournament

Monday, August 25 – First Day of Classes