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2010-08-26 digital edition

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2010-08-26 / School

From the Superintendent of Schools

First Day of School
Dr. Frances M. McArthur, PhD Lexington Independent School District

We began an exciting school year in Lexington ISD this week. By now parents have gotten a back to school report from the most important people in our schools, our children. For most of our students going back to school means getting to see their friends and adjusting to new teachers and classes, but for a few of our students this week has been about adjusting to a brand new district and community. It was refreshing to see students and staff eagerly welcome new students. From what I have seen, LISD is off to a great start! I was pleased to see our schools managing so many students efficiently and effectively. As I walked around our schools on Monday, students were in their place, teachers and staff were working hard, and important learning was already taking place. We are seeing a small increase of eleven students this year over last year. Enrollment is important for two reasons. First, and foremost because we feel privileged to be the premier district in the area (where parents want to move because of great schools); and secondly because the state’s funding formula is now set up so that the only way for a school district to generate revenue is through an increase in student enrollment. In fact, one of the difficult things we must communicate to the public is the serious financial problems affecting all Texas school districts. While Lexington ISD is in better shape than many school districts, the reality is our per pupil funding level was frozen at the level available to each district in 2005 with no provisions for increase in costs like gasoline costs or salaries.

Although our LISD Board of Trustees and administration have no power to substantially change the revenue, we have continued to reduce expenditures. Recognizing the state of the economy, the proposed budget and tax rate is balanced and our tax payers will actually see a small reduction in taxes this year. We recognize that we are truly blessed to be a part of this community and are looking forward to an outstanding year!

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