January 18, 2017

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

Legislative Report, Class Size Discussions, Assorted Proposals, Trustee Election & Annual Tuition Rate Topics for TISD January Board of Trustees Meeting

Texarkana, TX – Topics covering legislative updates to tuition rate were key discussions for the Texarkana Independent School District Board of Trustees meeting for January 17, 2017.

Paul Norton, Superintendent of Schools, shared with Trustees the work that he and area Bowie County school superintendents are doing to make sure Texas legislators are aware of their concerns and displeasure with the current A-F rating system that was made public on January 6, 2017.

“Students are better served by a comprehensive community-based accountability system that looks beyond high-stakes, multiple-choice tests to meaningful assessments that have value for students, parents and teachers,” he said. “As a district, we cannot embrace or recognize a rating or ranking of our schools based on this narrow of an indicator or a single day performance of our students. I am committed to addressing true measurable results that in turn allow us to develop students who are great digital citizens, people of character and individuals who can, will and are competing in a global work environment.”

According to the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA), the newly developed A-F rating system is:

  • based predominately on once-per-year standardized test scores;
  • has not worked in other states
  • reduces the many measures of school and district performance to a single grade relying on pages upon pages of complicated rules and calculations;
  • fails to account for varying socioeconomic conditions that influence performance;
  • aligns with wealth or poverty and likely punishes poor schools for being poor;
  • provides no sense of what schools must do to improve;
  • creates a false impression about an entire neighborhood of children and shames students.

Under the District of Innovation Plan, TISD is required to report the number of classes that exceed 22:1 student to teacher ratio for grades Kindergarten through fourth grade. A total of 14 classes within Highland Park Elementary, Morriss Elementary and Nash Elementary are currently exceeding the respective ratio due in part to increased enrollment for those campuses.

One vendor approval was given for district-wide flooring needs during the next school year and two proposals were approved for $243,238 to cover two new school buses and new lockers for the athletic field house.

In other business, Trustees approved the order calling for a Trustee Election on May 6, 2017. Incumbents Amy Bowers, representing District 4, Gerald Brooks serving District 2 and Fred Norton, Jr., representing District 7 At-Large will all seek re-election for their respective positions.

Additionally, Board of Trustees approved a tuition rate of $5,359 for ineligible students effective the 2017-18 school year. TISD establishes a tuition fee on an annual basis for students seeking enrollment that are ineligible for state funding. The annual rate is set according to the estimated Adjusted Basic Allotment the district expects to receive from the state.

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