Boards adopts resolution on small school penalty

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By Toni Walker
DAINGERFIELD – In an effort to encourage lawmakers to make changes regarding small school penalties, the Daingerfield-Lone Star ISD Board of Trustees have signed a resolution asking for changes.
Since the 1970s, legislation has been in place to adjust high costs of small classes in schools with less than 1600 in attendance. At the time, however, many legislators felt “small schools were small by choice and should be penalized,” according to the resolution.
Currently, the penalty against small or rural school districts affects those districts with less than 1600 students in attendance and less than 300 square miles within their district.
“There are several bills on the house side that would help correct this,” said trustee Miguel Larsen. “This penalty cost us $902,045 for the 2015-2016 school, and we are not the only school in the area it hurt. Hughes Springs, Chapel Hill, there are a lot of schools in this area that are being affected by this penalty.”
The resolution, which was passed unanimously, directs the district’s legislative representatives, Senator Bryan Hughes and Representative Cole Hefner, to author, co-author, and support legislation to help correct the 40-year old penalty.
The board also set the date for their annual budget hearing and adoption of the 2017-2018 school year. That meeting is scheduled for Aug. 21.
Superintendent Sandra Quarles also informed the board of resignations and new hires. Quarles announced that South Elementary teacher Janna Easley and junior high special education teacher Katie Savage had both tendered resignations, which she had accepted.
New teachers hired since the previous meeting include Marcus Latimore, Jeremy White, and Laura Williams, all at Daingerfield High School, and Shelly Lemons at South Elementary.

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