I hope this communication finds you and your family enjoying a safe and fun start to the summer. There is currently quite a bit of activity on the campuses with 80+ academic enrichment camps and 16 athletic camps being offered throughout Lovejoy ISD. It's great to see our students experiencing a wide variety of offerings so close to home.
Those of you in the Hart community know we have been diligently working on selecting a new principal and assistant principal for your campus. Today we met with a representative group of Hart parents to receive feedback on the most important qualities of the new principal. If you would like to weigh in on this issue, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a text to 972.418.8129. I plan to recommend a principal to our Board of Trustees at the June 21st board meeting.
As you know, our Board of Trustees is required to adopt the 2017-2018 budget by June 30, 2017. Also, our Texas Legislature adjourned from this past legislative session without passing a school finance bill due to major disagreements between the Texas House and Texas Senate over several issues, including vouchers for private school attendance. If nothing changes in the upcoming special session (July 18, 2017), Lovejoy ISD will lose approximately $6 million in state funding. In order to provide sufficient revenue to support the budget, the administration is recommending a combination of parent paid fees, for services such as extracurricular activities and bus transportation, along with the use of a portion of our fund balance. When a school district administration encounters a shortfall in revenue, we always begin with opportunities to cut expenditures, and that is true in this case as well. We are recommending a 10% cut in all operating budgets which do not directly impact the experience your child will have this coming school year. That reduction will yield about $600,000. A common
question is, "Why can't we cut more without impacting the experience our kids have on their campus?"
Please consider these facts:
- 82% of our total budget is tied to personnel, and the majority of our personnel is in the teacher category
- 11% of the total budget is predominantly non-discretionary, such as fuel, utilities and insurance
- The remaining 7% of the total budget is predominantly discretionary and includes items such as campus supply budgets
As you can see, once we protect our teaching positions and our non-discretionary items, there is not much left. The cuts we have made in the past to accommodate a loss in state funds ($2 million a year since 2011) have already eliminated the items furthest from our kids. Our Board of Trustees and administration remain committed to protecting the Lovejoy Way until we get relief from the Texas Legislature, or our student population continues growing to generate more state revenue sufficient to support excellence in all of our current programs.
In the event we implement a fee plan and then the Legislature responds favorably and returns some or all of our ASATR funds in July, we will be able to cancel some or all of those fees. Many of you have asked how to communicate the importance of ASATR to our elected officials, and I am including the information below. We did receive support from all three officials below during the session.
We are now five weeks ahead of the special session of the Texas Legislature. It remains critical for you to contact our local elected officials to let them know the importance of restoring funding for ASATR during the special session. District office phone numbers are listed below:
The Honorable Van Taylor, Texas State Senator, District 8
The Honorable Jodie Laubenberg, Texas House Representative, District 89
The Honorable Scott Sanford, Texas House Representative, District 70
Additionally, you may contact the Governor's office as follows:
Governor Abbott Constituent Communication
You may click here for an article published in mySanAntonio.com regarding the challenges public schools are facing following the recent legislative session.
for specific talking points regarding ASATR. As always, thank you for your support of Lovejoy ISD.
LHS Wind Symphony
The Lovejoy High School Wind Symphony placed first in the Region level of all eligible 5A schools to advance to the Area level of the State Honor Band Competition.
This contest is the concert band State competition which occurs every other year, alternating with the State Marching Contest in the fall. Following State guidelines, bands make a recording of the best performances of their year. The bands move through region, area, and then on to State to hopefully be the best in the state and be named the State Honor Band. It is one of the highest honors a band program can strive to attain.
Four out of five judges had Lovejoy in first place in the region, which moves the band into the Area level. Area competition will take place on June 22.