Story No. 1 – Primary Election Day: After a long, long wait because of redistricting issues, Primary Election Day will finally take place in Texas on Tuesday.
Why it is important: There are many big races on the ballot — State Rep. District 4 & District 10; Pct. 1 Commissioner; Pct. 3 Commissioner; Tax Assessor-Collector — and some of them don’t have Democratic challengers, so the winner Tuesday will be the winner in November.
Learn more: The Henderson County website has sample ballots and the Notice of Election, which includes the polling places.
Story No. 2 – Graduation time: Malakoff High School graduated Thursday night (May 24), but most area schools won’t graduate until next week. Athens High School seniors will walk across the stage on June 1.
Why it is important: A college education might be a prerequisite for getting a good job, but it is still the high school diploma that seems to provide entrance to adulthood.
Learn more: The Review has stories on the valedictorians and salutatorians at Athens High School and the Athens Christian Preparatory Academy.
Story No. 3 – Murchison may expand: Murchison ISD currently goes through 8th grade, but the district is exploring the possibility of adding a high school.
Why it is important: It would of course be big for Murchison, but it could also impact Brownsboro ISD and Athens ISD. Because those two district usually absorb the Murchison high school students, and the way the state funds school districts, the loss of students could mean a loss of money.
Learn more: Art Lawler at the Review had a story.
Story No. 4 – Athens ISD board prepares for budget: At a school board meeting late last week, the AISD board began working on budget issues, including setting a proposed tax rate, setting the teacher pay scale, and setting a budget public hearing date.
Why it is important: Schools take the biggest local tax bite.
Learn more: The Athens News had a story, but doesn’t have a website. The proposed tax rate is the current tax rate of $1.18647 per $100-valuation. The teacher pay scale stays the same. The budget hearing will be 6 p.m. Thursday, June 21.
Story No. 5 – Lon Morris College lays off nearly everyone: The private, 2-year college in Jacksonville is facing financial troubles and took drastic measures this week as the start of what has been characterized as a reorganization.
Why it is important: Everyone talks about money problems, but it is still jarring to see something like a college fold.
Learn more: The Tyler Paper has a story.