January 21, 2020

Todd Marshall
Director of Communications,
Marketing and Development
903.794.3651 ext. 1013

Texarkana Independent School District Trustees Review Academic Report, School Supply Vendors, Tea Waivers and More During January 2020 Meeting

Texarkana, TX – During the January 21, 2020 regular session of the Texarkana Independent School District Board of Trustees, the following items were reviewed and/or approved:

*Public Hearing on the annual Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) Texas Academic Performance Report which consists of a wide range of information on the performance of students in each school and districts in Texas. Performance is shown disaggregated by student groups, including ethnicity and socioeconomic status. The reports also provide extensive information on school and district staff, programs and student demographics. Information for TISD can be found at;

*Consideration/Approval of Proposals – School Supply Vendors. Approval given to Really Good Stuff for the period January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2024. Vendors also approved in December 2019 include: Discount School Supply, hand2mind, Kaplan, NASCO, Office Depot, Oriental Trading, School Specialty, Staples and Tardy Bell;

*Consideration/Approval of TEA Expedited Waiver for Staff Development 2020-21. Effective the 2018-2019 school year, Texas Education Agency (TEA) offered a new Staff Development Minutes Waiver that provides for a maximum of 2,100 total waiver minutes to use for professional development for districts. Districts must have waivers approved by TEA prior to adopting their school calendars.

Each district may choose how to apply their approved Staff Development Minutes Waiver. Schools may choose to offer early release, late start, all day staff development, or a combination. Total waiver minutes cannot exceed 2,100 minutes per year.

This waiver is for staff development in place of student instruction; therefore, the waiver minutes are only applicable to staff development provided instead of student instruction during the school year. The Staff Development Minutes Waiver cannot be used prior to the first day of student instruction or after the last day of student instruction.

The waived minutes become part of the 75,600 required minutes required for full Foundation School Program funding;

*Consideration/Approval of Order Calling for Trustee Election. Approval given for order calling for a Trustee Election on May 2, 2020. Incumbents Amy Bowers, representing District 4, along with Gerald Brooks from District 2 and Fred Norton, Jr. representing District 7-At Large will seek re-election for their respective positions;

*Consideration/Approval of Adoption of Annual Tuition Rate for Ineligible Students. Approval given for a tuition rate of $5,626 for ineligible students effective the 2020-21 school year. TISD establishes a tuition fee on an annual basis for students seeking enrollment that are ineligible for state funding. The annual rate is set according to the estimated Adjusted Basic Allotment the district expects to receive from the state. The rate is an increase of $267 from the previous school year;

*Consideration/Approval of Resolution to Amend the Current Local District of Innovation Plan. Texas Education Code (TEC) §22.004(i) states that a school district may not make group health coverage available to its employees pursuant to TEC 22.004(b) after the date a District implements the program of coverages provided under Chapter 1579 of the Texas Insurance Code. The current process allows no flexibility in the design of group health insurance benefits to fit the needs of all Texarkana ISD employees.

This provision also prohibits the District from procuring group health insurance benefits that may provide better coverages for its employees and at a lower cost. This provision is in direct contradiction to the wishes of the local Board of Trustees who represent community interests in this matter. Increased local control of the group health benefits plan will allow the District to be responsive to employee and community needs.

On December 12, 2019, the District-level committee (DQIC) unanimously approved the District of Innovation amendment for Group Health Benefits for School Employees.

The next meeting for the TISD Board of Trustees will be Tuesday, February 18, 2020.

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