Texas school districts

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K-12 Education in Texas
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Education facts
State Superintendent: Michael Williams
Number of students: 5,000,470[1]
Number of teachers: 324,282
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:15.4
Number of school districts: 1,262
Number of schools: 8,697
Graduation rate: 88%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $8,671[3]
See also
Texas Department of Education
Texas school districts
List of school districts in Texas
Texas
School boards portal
Policypedia
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Education policy project

Public education in the United States
Public education in Texas
Glossary of education terms

Texas is home to 1,262 school districts, 8,697 schools and 5,000,470 K-12 students.[4]

Quick facts

State school administrators

  • State Board of Education[5]
    • Barbara Cargill, Chair, District 8
    • Thomas Ratliff, Vice Chair, District 9
    • Martha M. Dominguez, District 1
    • Ruben Cortez, Jr., District 2
    • Marisa B. Perez, District 3
    • Lawrence A. Allen, Jr., District 4
    • Ken Mercer, District 5
    • Donna Bahorich, District 6
    • David Bradley, District 7
    • Tom Maynard, District 10
    • Patricia Hardy, District 11
    • Geraldine Miller, District 12
    • Mavis B. Knight, District 13
    • Sue Melton-Malone, District 14
    • Marty Rowley, District 15

Statistics

The following table displays the state's top 10 school districts by total student enrollment.[6]

Enrollment, 2011-2012
1.) Houston Independent School District
2.) Dallas Independent School District
3.) Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District
4.) Northside Independent School District
5.) Austin Independent School District
6.) Fort Worth Independent School District
7.) Fort Bend Independent School District
8.) North East Independent School District
9.) Arlington Independent School District
10.) Aldine Independent School District

Demographics

See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Texas as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.[7]

Demographic information for Texas's K-12 public school system
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 22,390 0.45% 1.10%
Asian 177,203 3.54% 4.68%
African American 640,723 12.81% 15.68%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. students 6,258 0.13% 0.42%
Hispanic 2,541,966 50.83% 24.37%
White 1,527,763 30.55% 51.21%
Two or more 84,167 1.68% 2.54%
**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.

In the news

Home-rule effort in Dallas

Volunteers with a local group called Support Our Public Schools circulated petitions starting on March 4, 2014 to turn Dallas Independent School District into a home-rule district. A state law passed in 1995 allows local residents to replace their existing district structure with a home-rule charter. This charter could bypass some state regulations including minimum salary schedules for teachers, curriculum standards and the number of days in a school year. Support Our Public Schools is a group funded by former hedge fund manager John Arnold and several anonymous donors through his non-profit organization, Action Now Initiative. Arnold worked with local officials including board member Mike Morath to form the group due to concerns about the district's record of academic performance. Morath supports Support Our Public Schools but does not serve on the group's board.[8] The organization hopes to complete the entire process in time for the gubernatorial election on November 4, 2014. If successful, Dallas Independent School District would be the first school district in Texas to use the home-rule charter process.[9]

Support Our Public Schools submitted more than 48,000 petitions to district officials in mid-May 2014. District officials certified that enough valid signatures were submitted to proceed to the next step in the process in late May 2014.[10][11] The group had to gather at least 24,459 valid signatures or five percent of registered voters in the district to force the creation of a charter commission by the school board. School board members appointed 15 members to the charter commission during a meeting on June 19, 2014.[12]

Each member of the board is a resident of the district, four board members are teachers and the entire board is designed to reflect the district's demographic makeup. Two members of the commission were selected by the entire board, four educators were selected by an advisory panel and each trustee selected one commission member. D. Marcus Ranger, the husband of outgoing trustee Carla Ranger, and Lew Blackburn, Jr., the son of current trustee Lew Blackburn, Sr., were appointed to the commission. The state's home-rule charter law does not restrict spouses or relatives of current board members from serving on commissions. Commission members have until June 2015 to develop a home-rule charter for the district. If approved by the Texas Commissioner of Education, voters would approve or reject the charter at the polls. State law requires a simple majority and at least 25% of registered voters to cast ballots in the charter election.[9] The following table details the charter commission including how they were appointed:[12]

Charter commission[12]
Member Appointed by
Bob Weiss Entire board
Stephanie Elizalde Entire board
Melissa Malonson District 1 trustee Elizabeth Jones
Edwin Flores District 2 trustee Mike Morath
Jeff Veazey District 3 trustee Dan Micciche
Ricardo Mendez District 4 trustee Nancy Bingham
Lew Blackburn, Jr. District 5 trustee Lew Blackburn Sr.
D. Marcus Ranger District 6 trustee Carla Ranger
Jerome Garza District 7 trustee Eric Cowan
Danae Gutierrez District 8 trustee Miguel Solis
Shirley Ison-Newsome District 9 trustee Bernadette Nutall
Isaac Freeman Advisory panel
Ron Oliver Advisory panel
Bonita Reece Advisory panel
Julie Sandel Advisory panel

Local officials and advocates debated the group's efforts during the petition drive. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings supports the effort in order to bring change to the district while board members Lew Blackburn and Bernadette Nutall have questioned the motivations of Support Our Public Schools. Superintendent Mike Miles has not endorsed or rejected the movement but believes the home-rule effort is unnecessary as the district has initiated reforms within the current structure.[13] Alliance-AFT president Rena Honea argues that this effort is "part of a plan to underfund our schools, declare them a failure, and contract out to private operators the control of our neighborhood schools, disenfranchising parents and community stakeholders and de-professionalizing teaching."[9][14]

Mark Melton, a local attorney and charter supporter, published a seven-page constitution in May 2014 intended to guide the charter commission. This constitution developed by Melton and four colleagues would leave the district largely unchanged. The document proposes a three-term limit on all board members, a provision for recalling board members and an earlier start date for district schools. Melton's proposal would allow a recall election to take place if 15 percent of residents in a trustee district signed petitions. He offered the proposals as a reaction to the rancorous debate taking place between Support Our Public Schools volunteers and some district residents.[11]

Federal investigation of worker visas in Garland

Administrators in Garland Independent School District reported discrepancies in its worker visa program to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on February 12, 2014.[15] This program helps bilingual foreign teachers receive H1-B visas that last up to six years. The district employed 260 teachers who hold H1-B visas during the 2013-2014 school year. A small group of teachers faces deportation due to the expiration of their visas. Testimony during a February 25 board meeting revealed that participants felt that the district did not go far enough to help with green card applications.[16] Teachers also testified that they paid for program costs. Federal law requires employers to pay the application costs and fees associated with H1-B visas. The Department of Homeland Security is currently conducting a full investigation of the program.[17]

An internal investigation conducted by district attorney Harry Jones found that former human resources director Victor Leos and former assistant superintendent Gary Reeves mishandled worker visas for foreign teachers. Leos was found to have taken excessive fees from visa applicants. He also enriched relatives by recommending foreign teachers rent rooms from his step son and handle residency paperwork through his step daughter's law firm. Reeves is currently on administrative leave for ignoring early warning signs of Leos's behavior. The investigation found emails addressed to Reeves dating back to February 2013 that highlighted abuses by Leos.[18]

State law

School board composition

Texas school board members are generally elected by residents of the school district, although some school board members are appointed to fill vacancies until the next election for the seat is held. Texas school board elections typically follow one of these three methods, or a mixture thereof:[19]

  • At-large: All voters residing in the school district may vote for any candidates running, regardless of geographic location.
  • Trustee area: Only voters residing in a specific geographic area within the school district may vote on certain candidates, who must also reside in that specific geographic area.
  • Trustee area at-large: All voters residing in the school district may vote for any candidates running, but candidates must reside in specific geographic areas within the school district.

School boards can consists of five, seven or nine members. Board members serve terms of three or four years.[19]

District types

Texas contains multiple types of school districts. Independent school districts administer K-12 schools separately from municipal and county governments. Consolidated school districts are typically formed when two or more school districts combine into a single governing body.[20]

Term limits

Texas does not impose statewide term limits on school board members. However, terms limits on school board members can still be imposed on the local level.[19]

School board elections

Upcoming elections

See also: Texas school board elections, 2014

A total of 84 Texas school districts among America's largest school districts by enrollment will hold elections in 2014 for 222 seats. Board elections in 55 districts were held in May 2014. Voters in 29 school districts will cast ballots on November 4, 2014.

Here are several quick facts about Texas's school board elections in 2014:

The districts listed below served 2,340,607 K-12 students during the 2010-2011 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.[21] Click on the district names for more information on the district and its school board elections.

2014 Texas School Board Elections
District Date Seats up for election Total board seats Student enrollment
Abilene Independent School District 5/10/2014 4 7 17,161
Allen Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 18,888
Alvin Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 18,888
Arlington Independent District 5/10/2014 2 7 64,484
Belton Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 9,278
Birdville Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 23,545
Brazosport Independent School District 5/10/2014 3 7 12,737
Burleson Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 10,031
Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 26,159
Clear Creek Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 38,406
Comal Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 17,239
Coppell Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 10,217
Crowley Independent School District 5/10/2014 3 7 15,240
Dallas Independent School District 5/10/2014 3 9 157,143
Deer Park Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 12,593
Denton Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 23,994
Dickinson Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 9,118
Duncanville Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 9,118
Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 16,709
Fort Bend Independent School District 5/10/2014 3 7 68,948
Frisco Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 37,279
Galena Park Independent School District 5/10/2014 3 7 21,680
Garland Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 57,833
Georgetown Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 10,470
Grand Prairie Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 26,532
Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District 5/10/2014 3 7 13,670
Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 18,422
Hays Consolidated Independent School District 5/10/2014 3 7 15,325
Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 21,046
Irving Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 34,243
Katy Independent School District 5/10/2014 3 7 60,803
Keller Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 32,746
Killeen Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 39,901
Leander Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 32,152
Lewisville Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 51,484
Lubbock Independent School District 5/10/2014 3 7 28,885
Magnolia Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 11,895
Mansfield Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 32,251
Mesquite Independent School District 5/10/2014 3 7 37,747
Mission Consolidated Independent School District 5/10/2014 3 7 15,820
North East Independent School District 5/10/2014 3 7 66,604
Northwest Independent School District 5/10/2014 3 7 15,370
Pearland Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 18,769
Pflugerville Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 22,763
Richardson Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 36,070
Rockwall Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 14,072
San Benito Consolidated Independent School District 5/10/2014 4 7 11,358
San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District 5/10/2014 4 7 10,423
Sharyland Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 9,978
Southwest Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 11,815
Spring Branch Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 32,948
Tyler Independent School District 5/10/2014 3 7 18,549
Victoria Independent School District 5/10/2014 2 7 13,830
Waco Independent School District 5/10/2014 3 7 15,305
Wichita Falls Independent School District 5/10/2014 3 7 14,621
Austin Independent School District 11/4/2014 5 9 85,648
Brownsville Independent School District 11/4/2014 3 7 49,879
Bryan Independent School District 11/4/2014 2 7 15,751
Clint Independent School District 11/4/2014 4 7 11,675
College Station Independent School District 11/4/2014 2 7 10,535
Conroe Independent School District 11/4/2014 3 7 51,170
Corpus Christi Independent School District 11/4/2014 3 7 38,326
Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District 11/4/2014 2 7 106,097
Del Valle Independent School District 11/4/2014 4 9 10,787
Donna Independent School District 11/4/2014 3 7 15,028
Eagle Pass Independent School District 11/4/2014 3 7 14,850
East Central Independent School District 11/4/2014 4 7 9,617
Edgewood Independent School District 11/4/2014 3 7 11,947
Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District 11/4/2014 4 7 33,223
Klein Independent School District 11/4/2014 2 7 45,310
La Joya Independent School District 11/4/2014 3 7 28,822
Laredo Independent School District 11/4/2014 3 7 24,706
Los Fresnos Consolidated Independent School District 11/4/2014 2 7 9,981
Midland Independent School District 11/4/2014 3 7 21,736
New Caney Independent School District 11/4/2014 2 7 10,106
Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District 11/4/2014 3 7 31,508
Rio Grande City Consolidated Independent School District 11/4/2014 3 7 10,780
Round Rock School District 11/4/2014 5 7 44,776
South San Antonio Independent School District 11/4/2014 3 7 9,877
Spring Independent School District 11/4/2014 2 7 36,323
Tomball Independent School District 11/4/2014 4 7 10,669
United Independent School District 11/4/2014 3 7 41,876
Weslaco Independent School District 11/4/2014 4 7 17,839
Wylie Independent School District 11/4/2014 4 7 12,525


Path to the ballot

To qualify for the ballot as a school board candidate in Texas, a person must be:[22]

  • 18 years of age or older
  • A registered voter
  • A resident of the district for at least six months prior to the election

Candidates file applications for placement on the ballot with the school district clerk.

Campaign finance

Candidates can claim exemption from campaign finance reporting requirements if they do not anticipate spending or receiving $500 during the election. If they receive or spend in excess of $500, they must file amended paperwork with the school district clerk detailing contributions and expenditures.[22]

See also

External links

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References

  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. United States Department of Education, "2012 EDFacts State Profile," accessed August 8, 2013
  5. Texas Education Agency, "SBOE Members," accessed June 13, 2014
  6. National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed July 11, 2014
  7. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
  8. Dallas Morning News, "Dallas ISD trustee Mike Morath explains his role in home-rule group," March 10, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Dallas Morning News, "Group pushes for election to remake Dallas ISD as freer home-rule district," March 2, 2014
  10. Dallas Morning News, "Dallas ISD trustees struggle with how to form home-rule commission," May 30, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 Dallas Morning News, "Dallas attorney Mark Melton’s group releases proposed home-rule charter for Dallas ISD," May 21, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Dallas Morning News, "Dallas ISD trustees name 15-member commission to write home-rule charter," June 20, 2014
  13. Dallas Morning News, "Superintendent Mike Miles: Home rule not key to a better Dallas ISD," March 19, 2014
  14. "Dallas Observer," "Dallas ISD Trustees Are Skeptical of Shadowy Home-Rule District Push," March 4, 2014
  15. North Dallas Gazette, "Garland ISD discloses self-reporting to Homeland Security regarding H-1B Visa info," February 13, 2014
  16. WFAA, "Garland ISD teachers say they face deportation," February 25, 2014
  17. Dallas Observer, "The Feds' Investigation Into Garland ISD's Visa Problems Could Cost the District Serious Cash," February 27, 2014
  18. WFAA, "Investigators detail corruption in Garland ISD foreign teacher program," April 8, 2014
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Texas Association of School Boards, "Resources for Board Candidates," accessed July 10, 2014
  20. Texas Education Code, "Texas Education Code - Chapter 13 Creation, Consolidation, And Abolition Of A District," accessed July 10, 2014
  21. National Center for Education Statistics, "Elementary/Secondary Information System," accessed March 21, 2014
  22. 22.0 22.1 Texas Association of School Boards, "Policy: Eligibility/Qualifications," October 19, 2011