Ennis Ford Perfect Drive
Ennis Daily News

EISD dealing with state shortfall

Barbara Qualls, Superintendent EISD

As everyone expected, the pace of legislative action is picking up now and we should begin to see some trends soon. Today, I’d like to concentrate on some of the things that EISD is doing and considering to help blunt the impact of the deep budget cuts that are proposed in the current state budget.

Barbara Qualls

Most people are aware that the budget shortfall is an event that is happening at the state level. All financial functions at the local EISD level are exactly as planned. We are spending no more than was adopted in the current year budget. The shortfall is a result of the state of Texas preparing to send us up to $6 million less than is owed. What is ‘owed’ to a district is a function of the number of kids enrolled, the types of programs it takes to educate them, number of miles of bus traffic and several other factors, but altogether it really is money ‘owed’ to the school district by the state because we have done what the state formula indicated we needed to do to earn it.

The state of Texas doesn’t have enough money to pay all the districts what it owes them and is preparing to cut back. How EISD allocates the money that we do, indeed, receive is partly a decision made by local administrators and the Board of Trustees, but many expenses are already determined as fixed costs.

To get more flexibility in those decisions that we do get to make, EISD has initiated an early notification incentive system to reward those employees who let us know early that they plan not to return next year. There has been robust response to the program and we are happy to offer a small reward to those employees who are allowing the District to do better planning by early notice. It is anticipated that most of the positions vacated will be replaced, but may be filled with current employees.

In different economic times, an early notice incentive program is still a good idea simply because it allows a district to make better staffing decisions than when the start of school is only a few weeks away. It also allows EISD access to a stronger pool of applicants early in the hiring season.

We have made the difficult decision to close the Day Care facility that has offered such warm and secure care for employees’ children for the last several years. When it was opened, the Day Care was needed because the options for infant and small children care in Ennis were limited. In the next several years, though, other options have become available where our employees’ youngsters can be cared for, with similar tuition and in some cases even more timing flexibility. We are grateful for the service provided by the Day Care staff and hope that they will remain with EISD in other positions as available.

We have restructured a reading intervention program in such a way that many more EISD children are served by specialized reading instruction and EISD’s payments to outside providers is greatly reduced.

That restructure means that some teachers will be performing in new roles, but the beneficiaries of the restructure are the students of EISD, more of whom will receive specialized reading instruction than in the model currently in place.

We are moving very slowly in making fiscal decisions that have personnel impact and are concentrating on organizational and operational efficiency. As events unfold in Austin, we’ll use new information in an appropriate way here at home. It is good to be a Lion!

Barbara Qualls is the superintendent of the Ennis Independent School District.


Post to Twitter




Posted by on Mar 29 2011. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed

Featured Links

    Search Archive

    Search by Date
    Search by Category
    Search with Google

    Photo Gallery

    Log in


    Copyright: All rights reserved. Users may download and print extracts of content from this website for their own personal and non-commercial use only. Republication or redistribution of Ennis Daily News content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Ennis Daily News. Ennis Daily News and its logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Ellis County Newspapers, Inc.

    © Ellis County Newspapers, Inc. 2019