Legislative session will impact education

Published 6:22 pm Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Public encouraged to contact statesmen

Editorial by Rickie R. Harris

Since the start of the school year leaders of Texas public school systems have been tending to the day-to-day operations of their districts. At the same time, they have also been meeting with elected state representatives and state senators to share concerns about education issues that are expected to be introduced and addressed in the upcoming legislative session which begins in January 2017. I have been busy doing the same and invite you to join me.

It is important that local citizens join school leaders and make their voices heard. I would like to encourage you to contact State Representative Dade Phelan and State Senator Robert Nichols regarding the state of school finance. It is important for West Orange – Cove CISD to retain every penny that we collect in order to provide maximum opportunities to our students.

Last year, West Orange – Cove CISD was required to send $1.7 million to the State due to recapture formulas. This year, we are scheduled to send $2.2 million to the state for redistribution. Our teachers and staff members are providing an exceptional education experience for our students. They work hard and do the best they can with available resources; but, what we have to work with is not enough. We need be able to utilize and keep every available dollar that we have, and more.

West Orange – Cove CISD serves a student population that is 90% socially economically disadvantaged. This student population requires more services, and therefore, more funds for needed additional support.

We believe strongly in doing all that we can to keep our students safe. We provide transportation for all students. We additionally provide transportation home from Middle School and High School afterschool tutorials and extra-curricular activities.

At North Early Learning Center, we provide a full day Head Start program while receiving funding for a half day only.

West Orange – Stark High School students who meet socio-economic disadvantaged guidelines are able to benefit from college opportunities that otherwise would be unavailable to them. These students are able to participate in dual enrollment courses. WOC pays tuition fees and textbook costs. Our district also pays for ACT and SAT examinations for qualifying students.

Stallions and Mustangs continue to meet challenges and achieve at higher and higher levels. We appreciate the hard work and dedication of all involved. We are empowering lives through excellence every day!

As contemporary author John Maxwell said, “One is too small a number to achieve greatness.”

Go Mustangs!

Rickie R. Harris is the Superintendent at West Orange – Cove CISD

Contact Information for our Texas Legislators:

Texas State Senate District 3 – Senator Robert Nichols
Capitol Office: EXT E1.704
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0103
Capitol Address: P.O. Box 12068, Capitol Station
Austin, TX 78711
District Address: 329 Neches Street, Jacksonville, TX 75766
Phone: (903) 589-3003


Texas State House District 21—Representative Dade Phelan
Capitol Office: EXT E1.324
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0706
Capitol Address: P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768
District Address: 11867 Hwy 62 North
Mauriceville TX 77630
Phone: (409) 745-2777