The latest news from LISD.
As we enter the final weeks of the 88th legislative session, I wanted to share our stance on a few pivotal bills on the table. I have also shared a video we created to break down basic allotment for the LISD community. It is my best hope that all LISD stakeholders are equipped with the knowledge to advocate for their students and our staff.
As mentioned in the video, the basic allotment for Texas public schools has alarmingly stagnated for four years amidst soaring inflation rates. The recently passed $90 increase in HB 100 brings the basic allotment to $6,250 - not anywhere near the actual cost to educate a student in LISD.
I look forward to continuing these critical conversations with each of you as we work towards change for all Texas public schools.
LISD'S RESPONSE TO RECENT BILLS
This is still an unfunded mandate to provide accelerated instruction. There is not enough increase to the Basic Allotment to pay teachers to provide the accelerated instruction or obtain the materials. Also there is now a requirement to provide transportation with no money for transportation. If there was funding, we would be in support of the following aspects:
Reduces the number of accelerated learning plans (only required for students who fail the same test in consecutive years).
15-hour requirement sounds as if now only pertains to ELA/Math STAAR/EOC exams.
decreases from 30 to 15 the minimum number of hours of instruction to be provided to each student; (subsequent years failures do require 30 hours)
increases the maximum number of students in group instruction from three to five for a student in a grade level below ninth grade and from 3 to 10 for a student in ninth grade or above;
We are not in support of the following aspects:
commissioner establishes the rules (subject to his interpretation).
confusion over which subject areas these apply to It is very ambiguous. It seems to say that accelerated instruction is required for all students who fail a STAAR exam, but a specific form of accelerated instruction (15 hours with a certain ratio) is required for those who fail an ELA/math exam.
a school district or open-enrollment charter school shall provide students required to attend accelerated programs under this section with transportation to those programs if the programs occur outside of regular school hours (costs).
HB 1605/SB 2565
LISD does not support this bill as written.
This bill directs money toward having school districts use a state managed curriculum and resources from companies such as Amplify, Big Ideas, Carnegie, etc).
This would significantly reduce the amount of Instructional Material Allotment (IMA) funds available to Texas school districts, thus forcing districts to use the commissioner’s Open Educational Resources (OERs). The money being put towards this could go towards increasing the basic allotment.
- Removes “state-developed” before OERs b/c TEA doesn’t necessarily want to develop OERs; the commissioner wants to use TIMA funds to purchase existing publisher products under a statewide OER license (i.e., Amplify, Big Ideas Math, Carnegie)
LISD not in favor of this bill. I have already addressed the educational savings account part of the bill. The following is related to the grievance portion:
- The new timeline for filing a grievance is extraordinarily long and makes it virtually impossible to investigate grievances from months prior.
- Allowing parents to amend their grievance once lower level decisions have already been made denies administration the ability to address issues before they reach the Board. If a parent can amend their grievance after Level II before Level III, there will be no investigation or record and the Board will be responsible for its own investigation prior to making a decision.
- Requiring the superintendent to testify if five grievances go to a hearing examiner is extremely concerning, particularly under the heading of “disciplinary measures”. Additionally, having the same threshold for a district with 50,000 parents as for a district with 200 parents seems inequitable as larger districts are bound to have more grievances simply due to the number of students.
LISD is not in favor of this bill that would replace school counselors with chaplains.
SB 2177 & SB 2205
LISD is in favor of both of these bills.
On my latest episode of UnRapped, I break down an important aspect of the school finance formula - basic allotment.
From the beginning, Lewisville Independent School District has committed to ensuring all students have the resources they need and want to ultimately thrive in a future they create. Visit Best Schools in Texas for more information about joining the LISD family. Need this update in a different language? Visit LISD.net/translate.