Tonight

by Coy Holcombe.  

Tonight our volleyball teams and football team travel to Kemp to take on the Yellowjackets. The start time for the volleyball games is 4:30. The freshman and JV will play first. The varsity will follow at about 6:00. Our varsity volleyball team is within two wins of claiming the district championship. I encourage everyone to please come out and support our young ladies tonight.

The Bulldog varsity football team will kickoff against Kemp at 7:30. Both teams bring 1-1 district records into tonight’s game. Please come out and support the Bulldogs in their quest to go 2-1 in district.

In addition to the volleyball and football teams, fans will have the treat of seeing our cheerleaders and band perform. Come out and enjoy a full evening of volleyball, football, cheerleading, and music done the Bulldog way!

Also, a reminder that EISD will be hosting the district cross country meet on Monday. Check out yesterday’s entry for full details on this event.

District Cross Country Meet

by Coy Holcombe.  

On Monday, October 27, EISD has the honor of hosting the district cross country meet. It has been several years since Eustace has been in charge of this meet. The meet will start at 2:00 and will take place at the 4 Pines Ranch, which is located south of Eustace on FM 2329.

I would like to thank Roy Jones and his family for allowing EISD to host the district meet on his ranch. The course is beautifully laid out and will prove to be a challenging course for all competitors. I encourage everyone to come out Monday and support all of our cross country runners.

Below is the schedule of running times for the district meet. At the top of this entry is an attachment of a map to the 4 Pines Ranch.

Schedule:                                                                   Start                           

Check-In                                           12:30 pm                      

                        JV Girls                                               2:00 pm                      

                        V Girls                                                 2:30 pm                      

                        JV Boys                                              3:00 pm                   

                        V Boys                                                3:30 pm                   

                        Jr. High Girls                                       4:00 pm                   

                        Jr. High Boys                                      4:30 pm                   

                        Awards                                             To Follow         

Facilities:       Restrooms and concessions will be available. A limited number of T-shirts will be available for $10. Water will be provided at the finish line.

Information:   If you have any questions or would like to schedule a practice session, please contact Gene Myers at 903-425-5255 (office), 903-477-1379 (cell) or by email gmyers@eustaceisd.net  

Hosted by

Eustace High School and

4 Pines Ranch

14240 FM 2329

Eustace, TX 75124

 

 

 

By the Numbers: First Six Weeks, Part 2

by Coy Holcombe.  

First, congratulations to the volleyball team on a great win against Van last night. The win puts the Bulldogs alone at the top of the district race.

Yesterday we looked at the attendance numbers from the first six weeks and compared them with the numbers used in the budget. Today, we will look at the state aid that those numbers are generating and compare that with the numbers in our budget.

Budget vs. Earned – End of the 1st Six Weeks

Earned

Budget

Difference

Regular Block Grant

$4,703,756

$4,766,154

-$62,398

Special Education

$812,613

$941,197

-$128,584

CATE

$400,405

$288,406

$111,999

GT

$30,887

$30,992

-$105

Compensatory

$689,842

$667,805

$22,037

Bilingual

$3,977

$5,432

-$1,455

Transportation

$139,000

$139,000

$0

Total Tier I

$6,780,480

$6,838,986

$-58,506

Local Share

$3,766,526

$3,766,526

$0

Tier I

$3,013,954

$3,072,460

-$58,506

Tier II

$758,389

$771,936

-$13,547

HB 1

$226,198

$228,232

-$2,034

Additional State Aid

$1,555,041

$1,561,080

-$6,039

Staff Allotment

$53,500

$53,500

$0

HB 1 (80th Session)

$48,605

$49,028

-$423

Technology

$42,298

$42,456

-$158

High School Allotment

$120,839

$115,693

$5,146

Pre-K Grant

$98,000

$98,000

$0

EDA

$129,670

$133,390

-$3,720

Total

$6,046,494

$6,125,775

-$79,281

A couple of notes: The transportation allotment is dependent on the number of miles traveled during the school year. Unless there are unusual circumstances, the amount from the previous fiscal year is used in both columns until an update is provided from the state.

Tier II Aid is tied to tax effort. We do not receive as much money as we used to in Tier II because of changes to the funding formulas.

Additional State Aid is a relatively new funding category. The majority of this funding helps offset the decrease in Tier II funds. This category came about because of the limits established for a district’s tax rate. As the legislature attempts to lower property tax bills, the funding that was dependent on property tax collections has been re-established in this category.

High School Allotment is a special category of funding that is devoted exclusively to high schools. It is based on the ADA of the high school.

EDA stands for Existing Debt Allotment. This is state aid that is used to help the district pay for its bonds.

Does the fact that we have a bottom line of -$79,281 signal problems for EISD? Well, it would if we simply spent our budgeted amounts and paid no attention to the amount of funding that we are actually earning. Of course we would like to be earning more than what we budgeted; however, as long as we are watching our bottom line and understand that we may need to adjust our budget accordingly, we will be okay. In fact, we have already made adjustments to our budget to offset the budget vs. earned difference.

A few more points: first, the numbers in the earned column are only for the first six weeks. These will be updated throughout the year. They may go up or they may go down. Regardless, the key is careful monitoring of the numbers; second, as the year progresses, further adjustments to our budget will probably need to be made; third, almost all of the funding categories are dependent on ADA (or numbers related to ADA). If our enrollment goes up, these numbers will go up; however, the converse is also true: if our enrollment goes down, these numbers will go down also.

School finance can be complicated and certainly can be confusing. If you have any questions about a certain category of funding, or questions about how a category is calculated, please feel free to contact me at cholcombe@eustaceisd.net.

By the Numbers: The First Six Weeks

by Coy Holcombe.  

As mentioned in previous entries, EISD monitors the attendance and special program numbers at the end of each six weeks. These numbers are compared with the numbers used in the budget. This comparison allows EISD to monitor the amount of state aid that we are earning against the amount of state aid that we are being paid. Most importantly, it allows us to adjust our spending with respect to our adopted budget.

Below are the numbers from the first six weeks compared with the numbers used for budgeting:

                            1st Six Weeks                              Budget

ADA                       1437.7414                                  1443.09

High School ADA     439.41                                       420.7

Special Ed FTEs      54.518                                       65.174

Mainstream ADA      53.517                                       56.748

CATE                         82.046                                       59.113

GT Students               81                                             72.15

Compensatory         1040.2                                       1010

Bilingual                   11.00                                        15.03

A couple of notes:

First, the numbers for the budget were, for the most part, the numbers with which we ended the 07-08 school year. For the first six weeks, our overall attendance rate was 97.58%, which is a great number. However, our enrollment has dropped from the first of the school year and so our overall ADA has dropped also.

We receive special funding for our high school ADA. Currently, even though the district’s enrollment is down from previous years, our high school enrollment is up. This explains why our current ADA in the high school is greater than the budgeted amount.

Our special education FTEs are considerably less than our budget. Several factors explain this difference: first, as our enrollment decreases, our special education enrollment also decreases; second, changes in special education rules have moved more special education students into the category of mainstream; third, changes in special education rules have changed how students are identified for special education services. Districts must now show that they have tried numerous intervention strategies before referring a student for special education testing.

Mainstream ADA refers to students that are under the special education umbrella but attend all regular education classes. Our mainstream ADA has increased dramatically in the past couple of years.

CATE refers to our career and technology classes. Last year, we had a substantial drop off in our CATE numbers. Part of this drop off occurred because of the new graduation requirements: students did not have the opportunity to take as many electives as in previous years. To compensate for the new requirements, our high school went to an 8 period schedule that allowed students greater flexibility in their course selection. As you can see, our CATE numbers are up substantially.

The GT students provide the number used in calculating our gifted and talented funding from the state; however, a district cannot receive GT funding for more than 5% of the overall students in the district.

As discussed in a previous entry, the compensatory number is the average of the six highest months of the total number of approved free and reduced lunch applications from the previous fiscal year. At the time of the budget, our best average was 1010; however, when we figure in the numbers from August and September, this number increased to 1040. This number will not change for the rest of this fiscal year.

Eustace ISD does not have enough bilingual students to offer a true bilingual program. We do offer an ESL (English as a Second Language) program. This number represents the ADA of students in the ESL program.

A few more notes: As stated above, the budget numbers come from the numbers at the end of the previous year. There may be some modification to certain numbers based on known circumstances; however, for the most part these numbers are fairly consistent with the end of the year numbers from 07-08.  

Even though the numbers used in the budget are based on prior years, they are still estimates. The overall enrollment affects all the numbers listed above.

While our budget numbers are fixed, the numbers that we are actually earning will change as the year progresses. These numbers will be updated throughout the school year. As you can imagine, an overall increase or decrease in our enrollment will affect all of these numbers dramatically.

Tomorrow, we will look at how these numbers affect the amount of money we are earning versus the amount of money that was budgeted.

 

 

Great Friday Night

by Coy Holcombe.  

Congratulations to the varsity volleyball team and the varsity football team for victories over Canton Friday night! The volleyball team improved to 6-1 in district play after beating Canton 3-0. The Bulldog football team is now 1-1 in district play following their 35-26 win over Canton. 

The volleyball team plays an important match against Van on Tuesday. While the volleyball team has assured themselves a playoff berth already, a win Tuesday would go a long way in bringing the district championship home to Eustace. Make plans now to attend the game Tuesday and support all three volleyball teams.

The varsity football team travels to Kemp on Friday. Both Eustace and Kemp are 1-1 in district play. Remember, buses will be available for transportation to the volleyball game on Friday and to the football game on Friday.

Changing topics, the Eustace ISD Board of Trustees will hold their regular monthly meeting tomorrow at 7:00 PM. The meeting will be held in the High School library.

A Full Friday Night

by Coy Holcombe.  

Today is full of activities! Things will get kicked off at 2:50 with a pep rally in the High School gym. Everyone is invited to come show their support for our athletic teams, band, and cheerleaders.

The volleyball teams are in action starting at 4:30. The freshman, JV, and varsity teams will be competing against Canton tonight.

At 6:00, the Pumpkin Patch will start at the Primary. All campuses will be involved in this year’s Pumpkin Patch. It will be a good time for all. Pumpkin Patch will go until 9:00.

At 7:30, our varsity football team kicks off against Canton. Besides seeing a great football game, fans will get to see the varsity cheerleaders and the Mighty Bulldog Marching Band.

Congratulations Band

by Coy Holcombe.  

The Mighty Bulldog Marching Band received a Division 2 at the UIL Regional Marching Contest yesterday. A Division 2 is the second highest rating that a band can receive. Three judges provided ratings for the band: two judges rated the band at a 2 and one judge rated the band a 1 (a Division 1 is the highest rating a band can receive).

The Bulldog Band had a great performance yesterday in less than ideal weather conditions. The band members, band parents, and band directors put in many long hours of work for this competition. Congratulations and thanks to Todd Felty, Patricia Fields, and Chad Bentley for all the time and effort put in to providing a first-class marching band. Also, I want to thank all the band members for the hours of rehearsal that they put in for this show. Finally, special thanks to the parents of the band members for getting their students to practice and for the support shown to the band program during this marching season.

The Bulldog Band will be performing their marching show at least four more times during the halftime of the Friday night football games.  

Last Night and Next Week

by Coy Holcombe.  

First, congratulations to Coach Chuck Powers and the varsity volleyball team on a great win last night in Wills Point. The Bulldog volleyball team won in 3 straight games over a good Wills Point team. This win brings the Bulldogs to a 5-1 mark overall in district.

If you have visited our homepage within the last week, you have noticed the announcement about transportation being provided to the Kemp game next week. Currently, due to construction, there is no spectator parking available at the Kemp football stadium. Spectators are parking at campuses and are riding shuttle buses that run every 20 minutes to the stadium. In order to help with the parking situation, EISD will be offering free transportation to the games for all the Bulldog fans.

We will have at least one bus leave at 4:00 for the volleyball games. Following the volleyball games, this bus will drop off the fans to the football game. If you are attending the football game only, we will have multiple buses leaving at 6:30. These buses will drop you off at the football field and then pick you up after the game is over.

While this transportation will be provided at no cost to our fans, we are asking that you notify Sherry Dudley, receptionist at the high school, if you plan on riding a bus. This will ensure that we have an adequate number of bus drivers available next Friday. You may contact Mrs. Dudley at 425 – 5233. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at cholcombe@eustaceisd.net or you may call Mrs. Dudley at the above number.

Volleyball and Band

by Coy Holcombe.  

Tonight our volleyball teams travel to Wills Point for a crucial district match. Our varsity girls are now 4-1 in district. Tonight’s game is the start of the second half of district. I encourage everyone to make the trip over to Wills Point to support our Bulldog volleyball team.

The Mighty Bulldog Marching Band will be competing in the annual UIL marching contest in Mesquite on Wednesday. The band has put in many hours in preparation for this contest. If you have never been to a marching contest, I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity and make the drive up to Mesquite. The Bulldog Band performs at 4:30. The following link provides a map of the location of the stadium: http://www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Mesquite&state=TX&address=2411+W+Scyene+Road&zipcode=75149

Payment vs. Earned

by Coy Holcombe.  

In the world of school finance, a district is often paid too much money by the state. This is called overpayment. For the 07-08 school year, EISD was overpaid by the state. Why did we get overpaid? Is this a bad thing? What does this mean for our funding this year? These are all good questions and will be the subject of today’s blog. 

First, all districts are paid based on estimates from the state. Sometimes, these estimates are below actual numbers and sometimes these estimates are above the actual numbers. Very seldom, if ever, will these estimates match the actual numbers for a district during the school year. The key is to remember that the amount of payment is secondary to the amount of funding being earned. That is why it is vital that we keep track during the school year of the amount of money we are earning. The quickest way for a district to get into financial trouble is to spend all the money sent to them by the state without taking into consideration the amount of money that they are earning. (A note of clarification: school districts "earn" funding based on their overall ADA, their ADA of special programs, transportation costs, tax effort, etc.)

 In the 07-08 school year EISD was overpaid because the state’s estimate of our ADA did not match the actual ADA of the 07-08 school year. For several years, we had a slow but steady growth in enrollment. In 07-08 this trend reversed itself and we had a decline in enrollment. The state estimated that our enrollment would continue to increase and sent us state funds based on this increase in enrollment. When our enrollment actually decreased, this created an overpayment situation.

As mentioned before, as long as a district is monitoring their finances and making estimates based on the actual data throughout the school year, an overpayment is not necessarily a bad thing. What would be an extremely bad situation would be for a district to blindly spend all the money sent to them by the state without taking into account the actual funding that is being earned. During the 07-08 school year, we knew that we were being overpaid. Each six weeks, we added our actual attendance data for that six weeks to arrive at the best possible estimate for our earned funding. Being overpaid is not necessarily a bad thing as long as the district does not spend the overpayment.

It goes without saying that if the state sends you too much money one year, they are going to want that money back. While EISD will not actually write the state a check for the overpayment from 07-08, it will be deducted from our 08-09 school year funding. Again, and I cannot emphasize this point strongly enough, as long as that money has not been spent, then a district is okay.

What would happen if a district was underpaid? This happens quite often actually. The state could actually owe a school district more money at the end of a school year if they earned more than they were paid. When this happens, the state makes an extra payment to the school district. In fact, we were notified recently that we had actually earned more money in the 06-07 school year than we were paid. Thus, the state recently sent us additional funds for the 06-07 school year.

Estimating the amount of revenue that you are earning is key to financial stability for a school district. At the end of each six weeks, we estimate the amount of state aid earned and compare that with our budget and with the amount of state aid that is sent to us by the state. This allows our board and administrators the opportunity to see how our district is doing financially. If you have any questions regarding overpayments or underpayments, please feel free to contact me at cholcombe@eustaceisd.net.