April 20, 2017
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TISD Board of Trustees Approve Attendance Waiver and Bank Renewal, Hear First Budget Reading and THS Academic Report during April Regular Meeting
Texarkana, TX – Texarkana Independent School District Board of Trustees approved an attendance waiver and bank renewal, heard the first budget reading for 2017-18 and was updated on Texas High School academic performance during their Tuesday, April 18, 2017 regular session.
Board members approved the submission of a low attendance day waiver to Texas Education Agency for the March 8, 2017 date at Texas High School.
The Texas Education Agency allows schools to apply for a waiver for low attendance due to health, weather or safety when the attendance is lower than the state threshold of ten percentage points less than the district’s prior year average attendance. Approved days are not counted in the Average Daily Attendance (ADA) calculation for the district. The March 8 date had an attendance rate of 69.31% with the prior year average attendance rate at 94.31%.
In other business, the First Reading of the 2017-18 budget was given by Chief Financial Officer, Deidra Reeves.
“These numbers are very, very preliminary at this time,” she shared with Board Trustees. “For our first reading, you will see three varying scenarios. The first is assuming that all funding, revenue and expenditures remain the same as in 2016-17. With that, TISD would face a $1,463,205 deficit. In the second scenario, we are showing the passing of House Bill 21 which would bring in additional state funding of $1,188,623. In this situation, the budget deficit would be $274,582. Our final funding scenario is assuming that House Bill 21 passes with the Austin ISD yield increase of $2,304,034 being funded to TISD from the state. This picture would give TISD a surplus of $840,829.”
TISD’s budgeting process began in February with campus and department meetings reviewing their anticipated needs for the upcoming year. Current appraised values for the district have not been finalized and the legislature is still in session with decisions to be determined by June 1, 2017.
No change will be made to TISD’s total tax rate which has remained the same since 2015. The 2017-18 proposed tax rate is represented by $1.17 for Maintenance & Operations (M&O) and $.255 for Interest & Sinking Funds (I&S) which is used to repay bonded indebtedness and other debts.
Board of Trustees will hear the second and third readings in May and June, respectively, with final budget approval given in late-June.
Also approved by the TISD Board of Trustees, was the bank renewal with Farmers Bank & Trust. On May 23, 2013 Farmers’ Bank was awarded the bank depository bid. It was renewed for July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2017 with an option to renew for another two years. According to Reeves, “The annual percentage rates on daily funds is good, we are given options to invest in pools and have the ability to purchase CDs at a higher rate based on current T-bill rates.” The renewed bank depository will be for July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019.
Final report of the evening was from Brad Bailey, Principal of Texas High School, who shared with Trustees the recent recognition of TISD by the College Board as one of 22 Texas school districts whose efforts have increased access to Advanced Placement (AP) coursework while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams. Data was collected over the last three years for this year’s selection.
For the 2015-16 school year, student course enrollment in AP programs at Texas High School was at 982, which is an increase of 266 course enrollments since 2013. Forty-eight percent of students were scoring at 3 or higher while students scoring 5 increased by 47% over the previous year. Sixty-four students were named Advanced Placement scholars (31% increase over 2015) and two students earned AP National Scholar recognition.
In reviewing how Texas High School compares to the state and nation, the 2015-16 AP scores show 61.5% of THS AP students had scores of 3+ while the state of Texas had an average of 50% AP students scoring 3+ and the national average being 60.3% of AP students scoring 3+.
Bailey attributed the success of the Advanced Placement program to “hard work and self-motivation by students, incredible teachers and staff and a strong college and career readiness program.”
“For the upcoming year, we will work to continue to increase the number of students enrolled in AP programs and taking the AP exams, will provide additional AP training for teachers to increase our scores of 3+, establish an AP Ambassador Program to attract and encourage more students to take AP courses, strengthen our parent workshop on Advanced Placement & Dual Credit programs and collaborate with Texas Middle school to strengthen our college and career readiness program at the lower grade levels,” shared Bailey.