Addressing a joint luncheon of the Brownwood and Early chambers of commerce Friday, Early school Superintendent Wes Beck — one of three school chiefs who spoke about their school districts — began his time at the microphone talking about the Early district’s accountability rating from the Texas Education Agency.
The district received an overall A for the second consecutive year, with a total score of 91.
“We’re pretty proud of that,” Beck said.
The TEA’s accountability ratings were among the topics Beck, along with Brownwood superintendent Dr. Joe Young and Bangs superintendent Tony Truelove brought up at the annual joint chambers luncheon, held at the Brownwood Country Club.
“All our campuses met expectations,” Beck said.
According to the TEA’s website, the accountability ratings evaluate performance in three areas:
• Student Achievement evaluates college, career and military readiness and graduation rates.
• School Progress measures the number of students who grew at least one year academically based on STAAR test results, and measures student achievement compared to other districts.
• Closing the Gaps measures performance among racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
Ratings of other Brown County school districts were:
• Brownwood – B, overall score 82
• Bangs – B, overall score 84
• Zephyr – B, overall score 89
• Brookesmith – B, overall score 88
• May ISD 86 – B, overall score 86
• Blanket ISD 84 – B, overall score 84
Beck did not elaborate on his district’s rating but moved on to other topics including raises teachers are receiving in the 2019-’20 school year.
House Bill 3, passed in the last legislative session, raised the state allotment for teachers’ salaries, Beck said.
“Our teachers got a 20 percent pay increase because of the (state) allotment,” Beck said. Additionally, the Early school board voted earlier to add another 8 percent increase from district funds.
Some teachers received pay increases of more than $12,000 annually, Beck said. “I told them that Tuesday,” Beck said. “I don’t think they believed me. They just kind of looked at each other. They were in shock.”
For the first time, Beck said, the Early district was able to give each teacher $100 to spend at Walmart on classroom supplies. Beck noted that teachers spend their own money for supplies each year.
Because of additional funding from HB 3, Beck said, the district will be able to finish paying for the new turf installed at the Longhorn Stadium, resurface the track and buy new vehicles.
“The Early ISD has never owned a school vehicle for our teachers to use,” Beck said. “We’re fixing to buy three.”
The district will also buy a new school bus and address issues related to curriculum, school safety, walkways and technology, Beck said.