Everyone knows that Avalon ISD does great on their TAKS tests, is a recognized school district and has lots of extra programs for their students to help the students not just do well but excel. Dr. Del Bosque is once again looking forward to an awesome year.
Dr. Del Bosque said, “Despite the budget cuts we have not had to cut any instructional programs or teachers. And we are very proud of that.”
Dr. Del Bosque explained that this is due to the citizens of Avalon approving the Maintenance & Operation tax increase of an additional thirteen cents in 2008 (see Avalon Tax Ratification Election). He said, “We owe this to our parents and taxpayers for voting for the tax. We had the good fortune of doing it when we did. Those 13 pennies were significant for the financial well being of our school. You can do only so much with limited funds. From those 13 pennies, six of them they call golden pennies. Those six golden pennies fund our school at the Austin ISD rates which is significantly higher than our rate. So out of the 13 pennies increase that our tax payers supported six of those pennies have enabled our school to survive the budget cuts.”
Dr. Del Bosque went on to say, "We did make some cuts. We cut a lot of non instruction – we were in line to buy new uniforms for athletics this year we delayed that, we were in line to replace the school vehicle with a suburban we cut that, we cut down about 5 percent of facility matters, anything that was not instructional. The way the budget cuts fell we were cut a little over five percent. The following year we will recover 4 percent of what we lost. That is just the way the system works. So we just tighten our belt for this school year and not cut anything instructional. Continue to focus on new programs and continue to get ready for the new standards of the STAR testing. "
Another reason for Avalon ISD’s success is in the fact that enrollment has held firm. Dr. Del Bosque said, “We are very happy about our enrollment. We have grown forty percent over the last five years. A lot of our growth is in the lower grades, pre-k, kindergarten, first, second and third. We have a young population, these are not student transfers, these are students that have moved into the area.”
Despite the budget cuts, Avalon ISD administrators believe in small classes. “We as administrators and the school board strongly believe in small classes, thirteen to fifteen students per classroom. There is all kinds of literature and research that shows the benefits of small classes particularly in grades k thru 3. So, we make sure we have small classes, especially in the lower grades,” explained Del Bosque.
“It is going to be an exciting year. We are still going forward. I am very excited about how far we can go and how much we will succeed this year.” Dr. Del Bosque went on to say, “We have a great blend, a great combination of teachers, the young, the veterans and the nice group of ‘in the middle’. These teachers are strong teachers and very committed. We have the staff that really cares about the kids. It is going to be an awesome year.”