August 17, 2016

Todd Marshall
Director of Communications,
Marketing and Development
903.794.3651 ext. 1013

TISD Board of Trustees Approve Tax Rate and Plans for District of Innovation Status; Texas High School Recognized for 100 Years of Accreditation

Texarkana, TX – During the August 16, 2016 regular session of the Texarkana Independent School District Board of Trustees, Texas High School received a 100 year recognition from AdvancED while Board of Trustees approved the tax rate and certified values for 2016-17 and adopted a resolution to initiate the process of designating TISD as a District of Innovation.

Shirley Cooper, Lead Evaluator with AdvancED, was in attendance to present to the TISD Board of Trustees and Texas High School Principal Brad Bailey a framed certificate celebrating Texas High School’s 100 years of accreditation. Texas High School was accredited on December 31, 1916 and is one of five schools in Texas to reach the 100 year mark.

AdvanceED works with over 34,000 schools and school systems to advance the quality of education for students worldwide. In 2006, AdvancED became the parent company of the accrediting agency Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

In other business, Trustees approved the 2016-17 tax rate at $1.425. The rate, which has been the same since last year, is represented by $1.17 for Maintenance & Operations (M&O) and $.255 for Interest & Sinking Funds (I&S) which is used to repay bonded indebtedness and other debts. Certified appraised values are $1.985 billion.

Lastly, Trustees approved a resolution to initiate the process of designating TISD as a “District of Innovation” as defined by House Bill 1842.

The District of Innovation concept was passed by the 84th Legislative Session in HB 1842 in 2015 and gives traditional independent school districts most of the flexibilities available to Texas’ open enrollment charter schools. School districts in Texas may now seek designation to allow the district to access exemption from certain requirements of state plan. Innovation plans are more about local school district control. To date only 20 districts in Texas are going through the process.

“This designation gives us freedom in hiring teachers (especially those from out of state and those who are university professors), adjusting our school calendar to possibly start school earlier in August thereby having more instructional days prior to testing, working with teacher contracts, class size waivers and length of school day,” said Paul Norton, Superintendent of Schools. “Although it is a huge undertaking it is vital for us to continue to meet the needs of our students, staff and community.

The timeline for applying to be a District of Innovation will include:
*Board of Trustees Resolution Approval (August 2016)
*Public Hearing on Resolution (September 2016)
*Committee Appointment to Develop District of Innovation Plan (September 2016)
*Public Plan Posting for 30 days, Committee Public Meeting, Plan sent to Education Commissioner (plan posted online by mid-October)
*Board Approval of Plan (December 2016). With Approval, plan is in effect for up to five (5) years but can be changed annually with updated plan submission to TEA.

The next regular session meeting for the TISD Board of Trustees will be Tuesday, September 20.

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