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FOUNDATION Delivers Innovation to Boerne ISD

By Kevin Thompson :: Photography by Jocelyn Durand, courtesy of Boerne ISD If your annual property tax bill reads, “Boerne Independent School District: $10,000,” it’s effectively incorrect. Boerne ISD doesn’t keep all those taxes. Your bill should read, “Boerne Independent School District: $8,800 / State of Texas: $1,200.” As a “Robin Hood” school district, Boerne ISD pays roughly 12 percent of its collections to the state. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) then redistributes the funds to “property poor” school districts, defined as those having less than $319,500 of property value per student. All the while, Boerne ISD spends less per student than the state average. Two decades ago, supporters of public education in Boerne committed to offsetting the 12 percent outflow to other school districts by founding the Boerne Education Foundation (BEF). BEF raises private funds that flow to all Boerne ISD campuses both on a per capita basis and through a direct grant program called Teacher Impact Grants (TIGs). Last year, BEF raised more than $365,000 for innovative academic initiatives within Boerne ISD. “Without BEF, we wouldn’t be able to do many of the things we do in BISD because of all the money we send to the state,” Boerne ISD Superintendent Dr. Tommy Price said. “BEF provides us with above and beyond tools we aren’t able to buy through our normal operating budget.”

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Price has seen BEF’s impact particularly on Boerne ISD’s teachers. “If you look at video footage of the teachers BEF awarded grants to,” continued Price, “you see genuine surprise and enthusiasm on their faces. Some of them have tears in their eyes. To them, it’s a huge sign of support. That, to me, is the essence of BEF.” Boerne High School physics teacher David Locke has experienced BEF’s support firsthand. He received a TIG to purchase carts and tracks so his students could better study velocity, acceleration and momentum. “The tracks BEF funded are aluminum,” Locke explained. “They replaced cheaper plastic tracks that were becoming warped. The warped tracks likely adversely affected the data that students collected.” Locke also requested BEF fund optics kits used in conjunction with the tracks. Specialty mirrors and lenses enhance the learning experience. “I appreciate all that BEF does for the schools of Boerne ISD!” Locke said. Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) requests are becoming more common as TEA has increased its focus on those subjects. Boerne ISD mathematics coordinator Dr. Linda Gann helped a group of elementary math teachers apply for a BEF grant two years ago. “We needed a common set of math resources across Boerne ISD,” Gann explained. “To guide students through

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Cordillera Ranch Living Magazine May/June 2019  

Cordillera Ranch Living Magazine May/June 2019