TAKS has been used as the state test since 2003. The Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills will be retired after the 2013 class, replaced by the STAAR and End of Course exams. The junior class that took the TAKS did fairly well this past spring. Statewide averages for Texas 11th graders were 93 percent for English language arts; 98 percent for social studies; 91 percent for mathematics; and 94 percent for science. Richland Springs 11th graders were 100 percent for English language arts; 100 percent for social studies; 100 percent for mathematics; and 100 percent for science. Tenth-grade math and science continue to be problematic, but those scores usually soar in 11th grade, when students know graduation is on the line.Four new teachers will be employed by the district next year to replace Kristin Loudermilk, Heather Slater, Pam Starr and Jack Sloan. Three of the four teachers have been hired. Sherri Ashworth and Rhonda Wyatt will fill the elementary vacancies, while Thomas Tipton will fill the high school science position. The technology teaching position is unfilled and is still open for applicants.Of those who foot the public education bill in Texas, seventy percent of taxpayers have no kids left in school. One of the most common complaints from taxpayers is that they have no stake in public education, given that they no longer have kids in school. They think they don’t need to pay taxes because of that no-kid-in-school circumstance. In reality, a previous generation of taxpayers paid for their kids’ education, reminding taxpayers that they are merely the latest crop of folks who continue to pay property taxes to finance schools while their children have long since graduated. And ... the cycle of life goes on.The next Board of Trustees regular monthly meeting is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. on July 23, 2012 in the Board Room in the cafetorium. The Board of Trustees cordially invites residents to attend board meetings. There is a public forum at the beginning of board meetings that allows for public input. Your input is always welcomed, appreciated, and respected. Community involvement is the key to our success!