What if we told you we found an Odessa home that is so ready for move-in that you can easily afford to add the pool its backyard is demanding, all for less than $500,000?

Well, we did. Or, rather, Kristi Mann at Sims & Guess, Realtors, did. This 2,651 square foot home at 7617 Vista Del Sol is full of gorgeous finishes and has a layout perfect for families and for entertaining. (more…)

Ector County Commissioners voted Tuesday to raise the property tax rate by 6.5 percent. (Photo courtesy 401Kcalculator.org)

Midland and Odessa folks gave generously to Hurricane Harvey relief, Ector County ISD has a plan to improve struggling schools, and Ector County commissioners approved a property tax increase in this week’s news roundup. (more…)

MidlandIn this week’s news roundup, we talk Midland ISD property taxes, Ector ISD’s TEA improvement and a change in leadership with the West Odessa Volunteer Fire Department.

Midland ISD’s 2016 Tax Rate Decrease Comes Back to Haunt Budget

A decision to lower the rate on a portion of its property tax last year now has the Midland ISD Board of Trustees back at almost square one. (more…)

midland for rentRealtors are getting phished, the rents are going up in Midland and Odessa, home sales are making records in Midland, and Ector County ISD is mulling a bond election in this week’s real estate news roundup.

Realtors Target of Text Scam

The National Association of Realtors is warning members of a phishing scam that involves an alarming accusation followed by a hefty fine. (more…)

District of Innovation

About 400 school districts and counting have adopted District of Innovation plans, including Ector County ISD.

Dallas, Highland Park, and Ector County schools recently became the latest districts to opt for the “District of Innovation” status. Districts across Texas are grabbing hold of a 2015 law that allows them wider flexibility and control of everything from the start and end dates for the school year, class size, and length of a school day,  to who they can hire to teach.

Highland Park ISD’s board of trustees voted a District of Innovation plan in March. Ector County ISD passed its plan in April.

The District of Innovation concept was provided for in 2015 when the state legislature passed House Bill 1842, which allows districts some flexibility in seeking exemptions to state education code on various facets of curriculum, governance, accountability, and finance.

To begin the journey, a board adopts a resolution to examine the issue, then holds public hearings and appoints a committee to develop the district’s plan.

Proponents point to the local control, and to the opportunity for the same flexibility charter schools have. Opponents frequently say there is the potential for a slippery slope scenario that would lead to hiring unqualified teachers.

There is also a fair amount of fret about what teacher contracts would look like on a District of Innovation landscape, but so far districts that have passed plans have insisted teacher contracts would not be affected. (more…)