TAKS, EOY Activities, and Update

Yesterday, students in grades 3, 4, 6, & 7 had TAKS reading tests. Students at the Exit level completed their math tests. Today, students in grades 5, 8, 10, and Exit will be taking their science tests. Ninth grade students will be taking their math test.

We are in the process of putting a list together of end of year activities. When finished, the list will be posted here.

Look for the May edition of the Update soon. It should be finished at the end of this week or by the first of next week.

View "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller EHS 2010-2011 U.I.L. One Act Play

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If you missed it, here is your chance to see it!  You may click on the above player and view the public performance from 4/8/11. Enjoy the show!!!

“The Crucible” by Arthur Miller is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

Update on Finance

This past weekend, the Texas House passed its version of a budget for the upcoming biennium. It was a very lean budget that included about $8 billion in budget cuts for public education. The House bill differs dramatically from the Senate budget recommendation that reduced the cuts to public education to $4 billion. The Senate will now take up the House budget in full committee. Senator Ogden, the Finance Committee Chairman, has said he does not have the votes to get the House budget out of the Finance Committee. So senators have been adding more to their proposal — about $10 billion in total. It would appear that the budget bill will end up in a Senate and House conference committee.

This Week

Activities scheduled for this week:

Monday – TAKS Math Test – 5th & 8th grades; District Golf

Tuesday – TAKS Reading Test – 5th & 8th grades; Softball v. Leon; JV & V baseball at Scurry – 4:30; Called Board Meeting – 6:00 PM HS Library

Friday – Softball v. Teague; Baseball v. Malakoff – 4:30; MS District Track Meet at Leon

I hope everyone has a great week!

Support our School Rally

I want to thank everyone that attended the Support our School Rally last night in Athens. Eustace was well represented by faculty, students, and parents.  A special thank you to Mary Bell and Faye Barnett for getting the Eustace balloons to the rally. Those in attendance got to hear comments from several speakers including the president of TVCC, Dr. Glendon Forgey; Bobby Rigues, founder of the Make Education a Priority movement; Joe Smith, school finance expert; and Dr. Michael French, superintendent of Quinlan ISD. The overall theme was that the reductions in funding currently being debated by the Texas Legislature are neither wise, nor necessary. All the speakers emphasized over and over again the importance of making your opinion known to our representatives in Austin.

I want to remind everyone that tonight our baseball team will be hosting Life Oak starting at 6:00. Also, our softball team will be hosting Blooming Grove tonight. There will only be one softball game tonight. The varsity will start at 6:00.

Also, please remember that our 5th and 8th graders will be starting their TAKS tests on Monday. This date was mandated by the state. In previous years, we have not had TAKS tests on Mondays. The 5th and 8th grade will be taking their math tests on Monday and their reading tests on Tuesday.

EHS Students win awards at U.I.L. One Act Play District Competition

EHS performed Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” yesterday at Buffalo High School for this year’s U.I.L. One Act Play District Competition. 

Appearing on stage, in her acting debut as Elizabeth Proctor, Whitney Frosch, a Junior at EHS was honored for her remarkable performance and recieved the award for ALL STAR CAST.  Whitney was 1 of 7 selected from the 77 student actors competing to receive this honor. Great job Whitney! Caleb Caldwell, also a Junior, was honored as well for his remarkable performance as John Proctor by being 1 of 7 out of 77 students that stood out to receive an ALL STAR CAST Honorable Mention Award from the Critic Judge Joy Richmond. Richmond received her PhD from the University of Kansas and her Master degree from Texas A&M University-Commerce in 1999. She is also a member of the Texas Educational Theater Association and have published in the Texas Theatre Journal, New England Theatre Journal, and the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism.

The two schools selected to advance to Area competition were Teague High School with “The Insanity of Mary Girard” by Lanie Robertson and Mildred High School with the play “Stage Six” by HRH Powers. Buffalo High School received alternate with their performance of  “Smash” by Jeffrey Hatcher.

A special thanks to the friends and family that attended yesterday’s performance! We appreciate your supporting EISD’s Theater Program! If you missed yesterday’s performance, you still have a chance to see it on Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. or at the evening performance at 6:00 p.m.  Ticket prices $5 adult and $2 student. Come out and show your support  for EHS Theater and enjoy a great show! 

EHS Students win awards at U.I.L. One Act Play District Competition

EHS performed Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” yesterday at Buffalo High School for their U.I.L. One Act Play District Competition. Appearing on stage in her acting debut as Elizabeth Proctor, Whitney Frosch, a junior at EHS was honored for her remarkable performance and recieved the award for ALL STAR CAST.  Whitney was 1 of 7 selected out of 77 student actors to recieve this honor from all competing schools involved.  Great job Whitney! Caleb Caldwell, also a junior, was also honored for his remarkable performance as John Proctor by being 1 of 7 out of 77 students to recieve and ALL STAR CAST Honorable Mention Award. It was a day and night filled with great performances. The two advancing schools were Teague High School with “The Insanity of Mary Girard” by Lanie Robertson and Mildred High School with the play “Stage Six” by HRH Powers. Buffalo High School received alternate with their performance of  “Smash” by Jeffrey Hatcher. A special thanks to the friends and family that attended yesterday’s performance! We appreciate your supporting EISD’s Theater Program! If you missed yesterday’s performance you’ll still have a chance to attend our public performances here on:

EHS Theater Performs "The Crucible" @ District Meet March 30th 5:00 p.m.

Eustace High School Theater Arts will be performing “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller at the U.I.L. District One Act Play competition on March 30th @ 5:00 p.m. at Buffalo High School in Buffalo, Texas. Admission is FREE! Please join us and show your support for EHS Theater or come and enjoy an entire afternoon of performances if you’d like all beginning @ 1:00 p.m. If you need directions or more information please feel free to email Tammy Beaty at tbeaty@eustaceisd.net.

Target Revenue

In some recent posts, I have talked about the target revenue used in the calculations of state aid for school districts. Today, I want to talk about the general concept of target revenue and how it got into education finance.

Basically, target revenue came about from the Texas Supreme Court’s decision regarding school finance in 2005. In response to that ruling, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1. In this bill, tax rates for maintenance and operations (M & O) were “compressed” to offer relief for property owners. Prior to HB 1, the maximum M & O rate that a school district could adopt was $1.50 (note: the M & O rate does not include the rate necessary to pay for voter approved bonds. This is a separate rate called interest and sinking, or I & S). Following the passage of HB 1, the M & O rate, for most school districts, was compressed down to a maximum rate of $1.00. This happened over a two-year period.

With the compression of the tax rate, came a loss of local revenue in the form of decreased property taxes. To offset this, the state provided a “hold harmless” provision that substituted state aid for the loss in local tax revenue. Theoretically the revisions that the state made to the business tax were supposed to provide this additional state aid.

Target revenue came about in 05-06 to ensure that a school district would not realize a loss in funding due to the decrease in property values. Target revenue looked at several factors in school districts 05-06 funding, such as revenue per student in weighted average daily attendance, salary increases for teachers, and other state funding mechanisms.  Target revenue was designed to be a short term solution until a better model could be developed.  However, target revenue remains as the driving force behind the current state funding model.

Now, how did EISD end up with such a low target revenue? In talking with various experts, all seemed to focus on the fact that EISD has and continues to offer an optional homestead exemption for property owners. This optional homestead exemption is on top of the state exemption of $15,000. In essence, because EISD has been trying to keep property taxes as low as possible by offering the optional homestead exemption, it hurt EISD because the state looked at it as we were not fully utilizing the property taxes of the district. So, EISD has been stuck with a low target revenue based on aid received from the 05-06 school year.

Yet, EISD has achieved the rating of “Exemplary” and our campuses continue to garner other recognitions for academic achievement. Regardless of the situation, we will never make excuses for not providing our children with a “World-Class Education”! I hope everyone has a great weekend!