MCISD plans drop in tax rate

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Madisonville Consolidated Independent School District (MCISD) announced that the district tax rate will be lowered by four cents this year at their monthly board meeting for August on Monday. It is the district’s lowest tax rate in 30 years.

The tax rate has gone down 11 cents on the maintenance and operations side. The I&S portion has been raised slightly to service previous bond debts.

The board also highlighted the district’s starting salary for new teachers as one of the state’s most competitive at $46,000.

“Attracting and attaining quality staff is paramount,” said Superintendent Keith Smith. “It has been a good week for the school district. Teachers got the biggest raise they ever have, taxpayers got a big decrease in the tax rate and we got the highest grade we ever have academically. Now we just need to do it again.”

The grade Smith was referring to was the district’s accountability rating from the Texas Education Agency (TEA). While it was not officially released to MCISD personnel until Wednesday, the district is projected to finish on the cusp of an ‘A’ and a ‘B’.

The unofficial projection has MCISD’s overall rating as a 90, which just does fall in the ‘A’ range. Officials stressed that the score is unofficial and is simply a projection from the TEA. The projection was released last month and features improvements in a number of areas.

The official accountability rating will be released to the public as a whole on Thursday.

The district has worked tirelessly to accommodate the ever-changing stipulations that make up the accountability rating process. While there are still flaws, district officials are more pleased with the specific criteria that goes into the ratings than they have been with processes in the past. However, accommodating this criteria has never been their top concern.

“We are as good as anyone in the state when it comes to curriculums, instructional strategies and implementation of instructional technologies,” said Smith. “We are going to continue to work on relationships with children and watch the positive impact it has on behavior as well as the academic side. We are happy if we got an ‘A’, but I can tell you that at a ’90’ or ’91’ we are not serving our children any better than we were when we got a ’79’ (last year). We just understand the system better.”

A more thorough overview of the accountability process and ratings will come in next week’s publication when they are officially released to the public.

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