Texarkana, Texas – During the June 25, 2019 regular session of the TISD Board of Trustees, excitement filled the room, followed by a standing ovation from attending staff, as they approved the 2019-20 budget featuring a new teacher pay scale from $43,000 to $63,000 per year.
“We are extremely excited that Governor Greg Abbott signed into law, on June 11, 2019 one of the largest overhauls of the Texas school finance system,” said Paul Norton, Superintendent of Schools. “The new measure includes about $6.5 billion in new public education spending and is a game-changer for many school districts.”
“For our district, the additional funding is allowing us to increase the annual teacher compensation salary range from a beginning teacher salary of $43,000 to a maximum of $63,000 for the top of the scale. TISD teachers will receive salary increases from 10% to 17%, depending upon years of experience. We will also be able to provide other district staff a 5% to 7% mid-point raise. Additionally, personnel and resources have been added within the budget to support classroom teachers in the areas of curriculum and instruction, special services for dyslexia and 504 requirements as well as additional teacher positions to reduce class sizes in targeted areas. The new compensation package will also include an increase in various other staff compensation such as Dual Credit stipends for our teachers preparing students for college readiness.”
“Our teachers and staff deserve this additional funding. It is their love and compassion for our students that sets them apart. The TISD teacher can be described as resilient, resourceful, innovative, progressive, prepared, well trained and dedicated. They see the potential, encourage the effort, teach the skills and give love so that every child knows they are a valued member of our Tiger Family.”
Texas House Bill 3 contains major reforms to public education including: support for teachers and rewards for teacher excellence; a focus on learning and student outcomes; prioritizing early literacy; improving college, career and military readiness; increasing support for special education; expanding learning opportunities; increases in funding and equity; reductions and reforms to property taxes. In supporting teachers and rewards for teacher excellence the Basic Allotment (BA) districts receive per student has increased from $5,140 to $6,160. Districts must allocate 30% of new monies toward full-time employee compensation increases – 75% for teachers, counselors, nurses and librarians.
Other items reviewed and/or approved by members included:
*Approved Items as Surplus. Items no longer useful to the District but still having value and can be sold were declared as surplus. Listing includes: 56 Two-Way Radios. Items will be sold in July through an online auction at Rene’ Bates Auctioneers, Inc. Interested persons can bid, at that time, on items at www.renebates.com or visit the TISD website at www.txkisd.net which will take you directly to the district’s page on the online auction site;
*Approved Budget Amendments for the 2018-2019 Fiscal Year. During the month of June, final budget amendments are prepared in order to complete the fiscal year and prepare the books for audit;
*Approved 2019-2020 Budget & Proposed Tax Rate. Budget was presented showing additional funding from the state due to Texas House Bill 3. General fund revenue is $68.97 million with projected expenses of $68.92 million and a fund balance change of $51,113.
TISD’s current tax rate will be reduced from $1.425 to $1.3233 due to Texas House Bill 3. The new rate will be represented by $1.0683 for Maintenance & Operations (M&O) and $.255 for Interest & Sinking Funds (I&S) which is used to repay bonded indebtedness and other debts.
*Approved Memorandum of Understanding between TISD and Texarkana College for College Prep Mathematics and English Courses. As part of HB5, Texarkana College offers courses in Mathematics and English for high school students who are unsuccessful on the TSI, ACT or SAT exam. Students who are successful in these courses will fulfill the requirements for entrance exam requirements in place of the TSI, ACT or SAT exams which will eliminate them from taking remedial courses during their freshman year of college;
*Approved July 2019 Board Meeting date change from June 16, 2019 to July 25, 2019;
*Reviewed Student & Community Report.
For the 2018-19 school year, parents/guardians were offered “7 Habits of Highly Effective Families” workshops during the Spring Semester with an estimated 461 parent/guardians attending.
TISD was supported by 228 area business who partnered with the district through the Partners In Education (PIE) Program. Collectively, PIE members donated volunteer services, monetary and in-kind contributions totaling $1,237169.
Within the TISD Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) Program, 983 persons volunteered during the year contributing an estimated 47,650 hours of volunteer efforts on TISD campuses.
Other programs supported through the Student & Community Development department include: Tunnel of Leaders; Superintendent’s Leader in Me Luncheons; Boys to Men Leadership Academy & Precious Gems Social Club after-school mentoring; DREAM (Dedication & Responsibility Encourages Ambition & Motivation), a Texas High School leadership and mentor program; and the Diversity Awareness Committee responsible for the recruitment and retention of minority staff and assisting in closing the achievement gap for minority students.
Currently featuring eleven campuses, along with a virtual school academy, TISD provides a quality education for pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. Additionally, the District offers career & technology and special education opportunities for pre-school and school-age children and operates Tiger Learning Centers that provide childcare services for children ages three and up.