Eustace ISD faces financial challenge
By Robyn Wheeler
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–Rotarian members were updated
on the current financial strain of the Eustace ISD, Feb. 17,
from guest speaker and Eustace ISD Superintendent Dr. Coy
He stressed that school funding is being decreased by 6
percent statewide and Eustace ISD will be reduced by 7.41
percent for 2012-13.
In 2011, the district lost $577,000 in state funds but is
looking at a more than $772,000 reduction for 2012-13.
“It may be tougher next year and certainly more
challenging,” Holcombe states as he faces suspending all
employee raises and running with less staff even though the
amount of children entering the school system has stayed the
In 2008-09, Eustace schools employed 114 teachers, 34 aides
and 18 maintenance and custodial staff.
Those numbers decreased for 2011-12 to 106 teachers, 27
aides and 15 maintenance and custodial staff, a total of 18
Costs to maintain the campuses have stayed the same though
the budget has been reduced by more than three-quarter of a
million dollars for 2012-13, he said.
Due to the statewide fund reduction to certain school
districts, Eustace, Kemp and Mabank ISDs have joined the
Taxpayer and Student Fairness Coalition lawsuit along with
400 other districts.
This equals 53 percent of all the state’s school districts
and represents more than three million students. Holcombe
said the constitution requires funding levels that address
both adequacy and equity. The 2012-13 funding cuts will not
meet the equity needs to sustain the Eustace school system.
“This is real and will affect more than just schools. It
will affect everything in between,” Holcombe stated.
“It will affect families as they will have less money for
going to shows and out to dinner and that will affect our
community businesses,” Holcombe added.
Holcombe, a graduate of Baylor and Texas Tech and Eustace
ISD superintendent for 11 years, would like to know why all
districts are not funded by the state at the same level.
Many school districts with fewer students and lower
financial needs are receiving greater funding than districts
with higher costs and higher student attendance.
“Students in one district should not be worth more than
students in other districts,” Holcombe said.
These reductions in funding will most likely pose a
challenge to produce college- and career-ready graduates in
the coming years.
Holcombe encourages all community members to join the Fair
Treatment of Property Taxpayers and Student Coalition at
In other news, Rotarians heard:
• The golf tournament will be held April 20 at Kings Creek.
Tee time is at noon with burgers served afterward.
House committee asks TEA to defer STAAR
results as 15 percent of grade
Special to The Monitor
AUSTIN–Students from across the state will begin taking the
State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR)
test this March.
This test will replace the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and
Skills, (TAKS) test, which was instituted in 2003.
State Representative Lance Gooden said he has received many
complaints about the requirement that the STAAR assessments
count for 15 percent of a student’s final course grade.
Wednesday, Gooden co-signed a letter from the House
Committee on Public Education to the Texas Education Agency
(TEA) formally requesting that the agency defer the 15
percent provision for the current school year.
The test requirement is contributing to a “teaching to the
test” culture that is preventing students from being college
“I believe that parents and teachers in our local community
know what is best for our children,” Gooden said.
“Standardized tests fly in the face of my commitment to
locally-controlled schools. Top-down education policy from
Austin and Washington has shown to be a hindrance, not a
help, so I will do everything in my power to prevent further
encroachment into the classroom,” Gooden added.
Last session, The Texas House of Representatives
overwhelming supported the repeal of the 15 percent
provision, but it was not repealed due to a lack of support
in the Senate.
Parents and teachers across Henderson and Kaufman counties
have expressed their overwhelming opposition to an
overemphasis on high-stakes testing that has come at the
expense of a well-rounded education.
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake
have many animals at the
Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake
in Seven Points
in dire need of a good home.
Please call or stop by the Humane Society today
and rescue one of these forgotten animals.
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake
is located on
10220 County Road 2403 in Seven Points.
For more information, please call
(903) 432-3422 after 11 a.m.
We are closed on Wednesday.
information visit our website at