PRESS RELEASE



January 2019 TISD Board of Trustees Hold Academic Performance Report Hearing, Approve Waivers, Trustee Election, Annual Tuition Rate, District of innovation Plan and Seat Belt Requirements

Texarkana, TX – The Texarkana Independent School District Board of Trustees reviewed and/or approved the following during their January 15, 2019 regular session:

*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 www.txkisd.net;

*Approved the submission of the TEA Staff Development Minutes Waiver that provides for a maximum of 2,100 total waiver minutes to use for professional development for districts. The waiver is for staff development in place of student instruction and can be in the form of early release, all day or a combination thereof;

*Approved submission of TEA General Waiver for Homebound Instruction in order for student(s) unable to attend in person to be eligible for remote instruction;

*Approved order calling for a Trustee Election on May 4, 2019. Incumbents Wanda Boyette, representing District 3 and Bryan DePriest, representing District 5 will seek re-election for their respective positions.

*Approved adoption of Annual Tuition Rate of $5,359 for ineligible students effective the 2019-20 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;

*Approved the final District of Innovation Plan for January 2019 – December 2024 to be submitted to the Commissioner of Education.

The District of Innovation concept was passed by the 84th Legislative Session in HB 1842 in 2015 and gives traditional independent school districts most of the flexibilities available to Texas’ open enrollment charter schools. School districts in Texas seek designation to allow the district to access exemption from certain requirements of the state plan. Innovation plans are more about local school district control;

*Action to not approve the district’s purchase of buses that are equipped with seat belts as required by Transportation Code §547.701 which became effective September 1, 2017.

Transportation Code §547.701 requires that a bus operated by or contracted for use by a school district for the transportation of school children shall be equipped with a three-point seat belt for each passenger, including the operator, for all buses purchased by a school district that are model year 2018 or later. The code further provides that the requirement for three-point seat belts does not apply if the board of trustees for the school district determines that the district’s budget does not permit the district to purchase buses that are equipped with seats belts required by the subsection and votes to approve that determination in a public meeting.

"TISD contracts with Bowie County Schools Transportation (BCST) for their bus needs," said Paul Norton, Superintendent of Schools. "Given their organization voted unanimously to not pay for seat belts on busses, we feel that we must do the same since those busses are owned by BCST versus TISD. BCST buses rotate yearly within the county for mileage purposes so there are no guarantees that we will have the same buses from year to year. Additionally, TISD would also incur expenses for additional bus aides and bus routes. At present, our district budget cannot absorb those expenses."

The next regular session meeting for the TISD Board of Trustees will be Tuesday, February 19, 2019.

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