November CSISD Board Workshop/Meeting Recap:
Note: This is an overview of some of the agenda items on the November board workshop and meeting. This recap does not include every item on the agendas. Official meeting minutes will be made available on www.csisd.org following approval at the December board meeting.
The College Station ISD Board of Trustees met Tuesday, November 15. The following discussions and actions are of note.
CSISD Long-Range Financial Outlook: Deputy Superintendent for Human Resources and Business Services Glynn Walker presented a long-range financial outlook to the board. The outlook is based off of the current funding system, in which CSISD was reduced six percent per student for the current school year and will be reduced an additional three percent for the 2012-2013 school year.
Included in the projections is a 1.5% yearly increase in maintenance and operations costs, a 2% yearly increase in property values and a 3% yearly enrollment increase.
Using the current funding formula, the board was shown the decline in CSISD’s fund balance - or savings account - from the current $36.5 million to $13.73 million in 2016-2017. Without significant budget reductions by the district, or changes in the school finance system, CSISD will exhaust its fund balance by 2019.
Additionally, given the projected growth rates, it would be necessary for CSISD to open elementary school No. 9 in August 2015, intermediate school No. 3 and elementary school No. 10 in August 2018, and middle school No. 3 in August 2019.
Three-Tiered Busing: Discussion during the workshop about three-tiered busing and school start times led to an agreement to retain the current school start times for the 2012-2013 school year.
2012-13 School Calendar Development: As a result of the work of the Districtwide Educational Improvement Council (DEIC) - composed of CSISD faculty, staff, parents, business and community members - the board was presented three options for the 2012-2013 school calendar.
The community will have the opportunity to vote and provide feedback on the calendar options from mid-November 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.
Senate Bill 100 (Elections): The board voted unanimously to move its elections to every November. Because each current board member was elected in a May election, the current member terms will be increased by six months.
Brazos County Appraisal District Board of Directors: The board unanimously voted to appoint John Flynn and Tim Jones to two-year terms as the CSISD representatives on the Brazos County Appraisal District Board of Directors. The term is from January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2013.
School Finance Litigation: The board unanimously voted to approve joining the Thompson & Horton, LLP, lawsuit. This suit will assert that that the current state 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 accountability 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 its 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.
Joining the lawsuit will cost CSISD approximately $12,500.
2004 Bond Refunding Options: In an effort to lower the debt service requirements, the district’s financial advisors, Southwest Securities, recommended the board refinance $8.22 million in debt from the 1999 bond package, which were sold in 2004. Based on current bond market conditions, the transaction provides an estimated total savings of $487,633 and does not extend the term of the debt. The average of the interest rates for these bonds will drop from 4.15% to 2.43%.
The board unanimously voted to approve this item.
Purchases: The board approved the following purchases for College Station High School: furniture in the amount of $1,208,885.37 from School Specialties, Inc.; pianos in the amount of $52,530.00 from Strait Music Company; and computer tables in the amount of $80,170.46 from Spectrum Industries.
These items will be paid for out of 2009 bond funds as part of the total project budget for the new school.
Annual Maintenance and Support Agreements: The board unanimously approved the annual maintenance and support agreements for Sunguard Public Sector, Inc. Software Support for $94,072.66 and Hewlett Packard Hardware Maintenance and Support for $58,709.52. These are budgeted items in the 2011-2012 maintenance and operations budget.
Reserve Fuel Interlocal Agreement: The board unanimously approved an agreement between CSISD, The City of College Station and Texas A&M University to allow access to each other’s fuel reserves in an emergency situation. This agreement will allow the three entities to work together to meet the need for fuel in an emergency situation and will benefit the entire community.