October CSISD Board Workshop/Meeting Recap

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  
Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October CSISD Board Workshop/Meeting Recap

Note:  This is an overview of some of the agenda items on the October board workshop and meeting agendas.  This recap does not include every item on the agendas.  Official meeting minutes will be made available on www.csisd.org following approval at at the November board meeting.

COLLEGE STATION , Texas – The College Station ISD Board of Trustees met Tuesday, October 18.  The following discussions and actions are of note.

WORKSHOP

School Finance Litigation:  There has already been one lawsuit filed against the State of Texas regarding the school finance system and there are two more lawsuits anticipated.  The board discussed the merits of the lawsuits and whether or not the district should join one of them.

The Texas Taxpayer and Student Fairness Coalition was the first to file a lawsuit.  This group is suing on the grounds that the funding system is not equitable because some districts receive more money per student than others.

A separate suit is expected to be filed by Thompson & Horton, LLP,  which claims the current funding system does not meet the standards of the Texas Constitution in three ways.  First, the lawsuit will claim that with the increased enrollment and more stringent standards being placed on districts, the funding from the state is inadequate.  Second, the suit will claim that the current taxing system is a de facto statewide property tax, since most school districts do not have “meaningful discretion” over their own taxes.  Districts must tax at the highest rates allowed by law in order to provide the services necessary to meet the state standards.  Lastly, the suit will assert that the current per-student funding system is arbitrary and can not be explained, and therefore, it is not efficient or suitable according to the Texas Constitution.

Additionally, it is expected that the Texas School Coalition (represented by Haynes and Boone, LLP) will file a suit similar to the Thompson & Horton suit, claiming the current funding for Texas school districts is inadequate and includes a statewide property tax.

No action was taken on this item and it will be revisited in the November board meeting.

High School Student Transfer Process:  Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Greg McIntyre gave a presentation about transfer guidelines regarding the district’s move to two comprehensive high schools in 2012-13.

All of the information covered in the presentation, and much more relating to CSISD’s move to two comprehensive high schools, can be found by clicking the large rectangular link at the top of www.csisd.org.

2012-13 School Calendar Development:  Dr. Clark Ealy, Deputy Superintendent for Administrative Services, presented the board with four calendar options for the 2012-13 school year and outlined the process for selecting next year’s school calendar.

The Districtwide Educational Improvement Council (DEIC) - composed of CSISD faculty, staff, parents, business and community members - met in early October to develop four calendar options.  DEIC members will get feedback from the community prior to its November meeting in order to develop options on which the community will vote.

The community will have the opportunity to vote and provide feedback on the calendar options from mid-November to to early January at www.csisd.org.

The DEIC will use the feedback received from the community and recommend a 2012-13 calendar to the Board of Trustees.  It is expected that the Board will consider the school calendar during the January 2012 meeting.

Public Hearing

Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) Report:  By state law, school districts must hold a public hearing and present a yearly financial management report and overview of the FIRST ratings.

CSISD earned a rating of “Above Standard Achievement” for the 2009-10 school year.

REGULAR MEETING

Annual Investment Report:  Deputy Superintendent for Human Resources and Business Operations Glynn Walker presented the annual investment report, which summarizes the district’s earnings on investments and confirming compliance with the public funds investment act.

At an interest rate of less than 0.3%, CSISD earned $188,872.60 for the 2010-11 fiscal year, up from $146,275.95 the previous year.  These numbers are both relatively low due to low interest rates the past two and a half years.  In 2007-08 and 2008-09, CSISD earned $1,262,515.08 and $447,374.50, respectively.

Purchases:  The board approved the purchase of grounds equipment for the amount of $106,951.56 and band instruments for the amount of $330,407.05.  Both are for College Station High School and will be paid for out of 2009 bond funds as part of the total project budget for the new school.

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