Longview ISD expects to receive about $52 million in state funds related to its new charter school partnerships, pending Texas Education Agency approval. Just more than $5 million of that will be allocated to the campuses for student needs.
Those funds can be used on materials, technology or teacher training, among other services, Chief Innovation Officer Craig Coleman said.
The district could get about $1.4 million for its partnership with Longview Educates and Prospers and about $50.8 million for its partnership with Texas Council for International Studies.
After fees are removed, the two partnerships together are expected to have $5.08 million to spend on training for teachers, innovative programs, supplies and other student needs.
The district has applied for Senate Bill 1882 benefits from the state. SB 1882 is legislation that gives public schools financial incentive for allowing nonprofit groups to take over schools as charters.
Currently, the district has six SB 1882 schools run by the nonprofit organization East Texas Advanced Academies.
The two new partnerships were approved by the district April 14. If approved by the Texas Education Agency, LEAP will take over the Longview Early Graduation School and East Texas Advanced Manufacturing Academy.
TCIS will operate Hudson PEP Elementary School, Ned E. Williams Elementary School, South Ward Elementary School, Judson STEAM Academy, Foster Middle School and Longview High School.
The campuses run by ETAA are East Texas Montessori Prep Academy, Ware East Texas Montessori Academy, Johnston-McQueen Elementary School, J.L. Everhart Elementary School, Bramlette STEAM Academy and Forest Park Middle School.
One way the ETAA board has used SB 1882 money is to purchase zSpace augmented reality technology for classrooms.
Financial workbooks detail how funds would be spent through the new partnerships.
The projected gross revenue of the LEAP partnership is $1,425,186. Coleman said the gross revenue is all revenue received from student-based factors.
Much of Texas school funding is based on the number of students on a campus, or average daily attendance.
According to the financial workbook, the ADA for LEAP campuses is 132.2.
After some fees and costs are removed, LEAP will be left with $102,681 the board can use to operate the campuses. Coleman said those costs can be for training for teachers, innovative programs, supplies and other student needs.
Those fees removed out of the gross revenue are a $98,987 authorizing fee, $243,282 in mandatory costs, $788,680 in staff allocation and $191,554 in optional services.
Coleman said the authorizing fee is a recurring fee to pay for district-level services related to authorizing the charter partnerships.
The district offices that oversee the authorization include the superintendent’s office, office of innovation and the school board.
Some of the authorization fee would cover required board training or travel needed for authorizing the charter, he said.
The mandatory costs detailed in the documents include maintenance, data sharing/record keeping, juvenile detention center, fund balance, risk pool and federal expenditure. The staff allocation costs are to pay the staff at the campuses.
Some of the optional service costs include special education, transportation, information technology and security.
Foster Middle School Principal Ryan Carroll said in a statement that money allocated to his campus will be used for the betterment of its students.
“Our plan when accessing these funds are to partner with many of the great organizations in our area and local academic institutions such as UT Tyler-Longview, Kilgore College and also trade schools,” he said. “There are many local organizations that we can collaborate with, and I look forward to seeing how this money and the district can enable our students to seize that opportunity.”
Carroll said the biggest need on his campus is improving the student-to-technology ratio and materials for varied learning experiences.
“We hope that these funds will allow students to use the technology that already exists in ways that capitalizes what we can provide our students through experience,” he said. “We have a very large student population and providing the caliber of education that we take pride in takes funding.”
The total gross revenue for the TCIS partnership is $50,766,126. Once fees and other costs are removed, the overall net revenue to operate the six campuses is $4,974,884.
Longview High School will have a net revenue of $735,201 for student-related purchases.
Net revenues for other TCIS campuses are:
- Foster Middle School, $1,073,728
- Judson STEAM Academy, $840,832
- Hudson PEP Elementary, $1,184,644
- South Ward Elementary, $313,150
- Ned E. Williams Elementary, $827,329
The individual campus allocations also are based on ADA.
The TCIS authorizing fee is $3,303,686; mandatory costs total $11,831,236; staff allocation is $24,258,075; and optional services are $6,398,244.
The ADA for the TCIS campuses is 4,572.1 students.
At South Ward Elementary School, Principal Joaquin Guerrero said the money can aid the dual-language program.
All South Ward students learn both Spanish and English, helping students become bilingual by the time they go to middle school.
“It’s going to allow us to work on that bringing in programs so they can hear Spanish as it’s spoken and hear English as it’s spoken to understand both languages,” he said. “We see that they struggle with that, and that program will help them make gains in that.”
The extra money also can help make purchases to help the students with their phonetics and other language skills, along with “concrete learning” tools, Guerrero said.
“When you’re learning concepts like mathematical concepts, it’s really important for students to be able to manipulate things contritely, and those materials are costly,” he said.
The district also is expanding International Baccalaureate and Montessori programs on the South Ward campus, Guerrero said. The extra money can help with buying those materials and training teachers in those learning models.
“All of these activities are shaping students at a young age,” he said. “It’s going to have a strong and immediate impact as those students are learning differently than students have learned in a classroom.”