Overton Independent School District

The Overton Independent School District is located in Rusk County, Texas and its campuses are all inside of the city limits of Overton, Texas.

OISD is lead by it’s superintendent, Stephen DuBose. The Board of Trustees consists of the following members:

  • Shane McCasland, President
  • Mike Rogers, Vice President
  • Pam Raney, Secretary
  • Mary Leigh Dike, Assistant Secretary
  • Scotty Moore
  • Mary Pat Eaves
  • David Proctor

For those readers who are unfamiliar with the organization of school systems in Texas, the following might be helpful.

From Wikipedia:
Unlike most of the other states, Texas has established separate government entities for primary and secondary education that are independent and separate from any municipality, county, or state government entity. As such the administrative leadership of such districts is selected from within the district itself and has no direct responsibility to any other governmental authority. This independence normally also implies that the district has its own taxing authority that is outside of the direct control of other governmental entities.

In the state of Texas, districts are run by an elected Board of Trustees . This elected council of the school board determines educational policy within the boundaries of the school district, its tax rate, and the hiring and firing of district employees.  The employment of teachers in individual schools however, is left to the principal and administrative staff of the respective schools in some districts where in other the school board directly hires and fires all employees.

The benefit of this system is that it lets the district’s voters elect the trustees to manage the operations of the school district without the trustees having to be involve in the politics and/or operations of city and/or county governments. The downsides include smaller, rural school districts that have low enrollment and a reduced tax base to fund the education of the students.

Texas has been struggling for over 30 years to try and find a fair and equitable solution for funding the primary and secondary school systems.  Each system implemented by the Texas Legislature has been repeatedly found to be unconstitutional according to the Texas State Constitution in lawsuits brought by citizens, activists, and the school districts themselves.

From a Bloomberg article:
Texas’s school-finance system is unconstitutional because it falls short of the state’s obligation to provide an adequate and equitable public education to all children, a judge ruled.

“The court declares the current school finance system violates the Texas Constitution in that it is inefficient, inequitable, and unsuitable and arbitrarily funds districts at different levels below the constitutionally required level of the general diffusion of knowledge,” ruled District Judge John Dietz in Austin on Feb. 5, 2013.

Another problem that smaller school districts face is that a small group of students can wield a social power that would be hard to accomplish in a school system with a larger student population.  The high school estimated that they would have only 154 students enrolled at the beginning of the school year. In most other states, school systems are organized at the county or city level and a school with a small student population in such close proximity to other school systems would probably not exist, the schools would be combined to maximize the resources available to educate the students.