RHS Students State Envirothon Runners Up
Richardson HS Environmental Science students finished second in the state at the recent Texas Envirothon, an academically challenging competition related to environmental knowledge and literacy.
The team, coached by AP Environmental Science teacher Tony Strohmeyer, finished first in Aquatics and Wildlife, second in Soils and Urban Forestry, and fourth in Forestry through presentations to sponsors and university professors.
LHHS Student Named Gates Millennium Scholar
Lake Highlands HS AVID student Richard Thawng (center) has been named a 2015 Gates Millennium Scholar. The prestigious scholarship, provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will provide Richard with tuition and resource assistance to attend a four-year university.
April Spotlight on RISD
Click to watch the April edition of Spotlight on RISD
Legislature Considering Education Initiatives
With 39 days left in the 84th Texas Legislative Session, a flurry of bills is circulating at the Capitol. We are monitoring proceedings and sharing potential impacts with our elected officials. If there is an issue about which you feel strongly, please reach out to our delegation in Austin. They depend on constituent input as they consider the many proposals put before them for a vote. Bills we’re watching closely include:
- Senate Bill 4 promises tuition tax credits to fund scholarships for private schools. The proposal moved to the House this week. See details on potential impacts of this and other voucher-like bills here.
- SB 6 would delay a new A-F state accountability rating system to the 2017-2018 school year; other similar bills call for the scores to be used beginning with the 2015-2016 academic term. The bill is now with the House Committee on Public Education.
- Senate Bill 149 aims to create a way for seniors who perform well in school but fail an end-of-course exam to petition a local committee to graduate. Approved by the House with minor changes, it heads back to the Senate.
- SB 893 would change Texas teachers’ compensation structures, including establishing a new minimum salary and revamping incentives for student performance on AP tests. Notably, it ties teacher pay to student performance on standardized tests. This proposal is currently with the House.
Funding for public schools appears poised to grow over the next two years, with the House suggesting an additional $2.2 billion, and the Senate proposing an increase of $1.2 billion. Additional bills and budget negotiations between the two chambers could change the final amount. HB 654, which aims to overhaul Texas’ school finance system in advance of the state’s Supreme Court decision on the matter, has remained in the House Public Education Committee since February.
Learn more about RISD’s legislative agenda here.
Harkleroad Named Top Financial Executive
RISD Deputy Superintendent of Finance and Support Tony Harkleroad has been named the winner of D CEO's 2015 Financial Executive Award for Outstanding Public Service.
"We are extremely proud of Tony and this recognition is richly deserved," said Dr. Waggoner. "He has led our district in exemplary fashion through the uncertainty of the Texas school finance system. Tony is recognized statewide as an expert on school funding and has been a catalyst for RISD's conservative approach to multi-year financial planning that has resulted in balanced budgets, unsurpassed bond ratings and fiscal stability."