ECISD

Review of a preliminary budget, teacher pay raises, bringing back busing and renaming Northside Elementary will all be brought up at the next El Campo ISD school board meeting Tuesday.

The board will hold a second budget workshop first at 6 p.m. that is open to the public. The regular session will follow at 7 p.m., both held in the board room at 600 W. Norris. 

“Hopefully we will have some more answers (regarding House Bill 3),” said Superintendent Kelly Waters, who has concerns about the new school finance bill.

“We will have to compress the tax rate for the next two years,” she added.

The tax rate Assistant Superintendent of Finances David Bright is recommending to the board is a maintenance and operation (M&O) tax rate of $1.0684 and an interest and sinking (I&S) rate of zero dollars/cents. The current tax rate is $1.20 per $100,000 property tax valuation.

According to the Texas Education Code, a proposed budget must be prepared on or before Tuesday, Aug. 20. After the proposed budget has been prepared, the board must call a public meeting/hearing to discuss and adopt a budget and proposed tax rate possibly for Tuesday, Aug. 27.

Up for approval is the 2019-2020 compensation plan that involves teacher pay raises, another HB3 concern of Waters.

“I think the general concern is that our legislative session is an every two-year event. What happens the next two years?,” she said. “They may go back into session and decide not continue a pay raise they gave teachers, and I don’t think that would be a smart move on the side of the legislators. At the end of the day, this is a two-year plan.”

“My hope is that the influx of money to our teachers and paraprofessionals will continue,” she added.

Trustee Greg Anderson is bringing two issues to the board this meeting involving transportation for ineligible bus riders, or students that live within two miles of the campus they attend, and bringing back the option to form a naming committee to rename Northside Elementary for the late Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Army Master Sgt. Roy P. Benavidez,

Board President James Russell will present a letter he drafted to elected state and federal officials in regard to the limited legal recourse the district had regarding a terminated substitute teacher who filmed pornographic videos from a high school classroom in May and then uploaded the videos to a porn website. The videos have since been taken down. The suspect cooperated with an El Campo Police Department investigation, but no charges have been filed.

The board will also discuss the facility committee’s summary of needs report.

Moved up early into the meeting, the board will meet in closed session for Waters’ mid-year formative evaluation and possibly discuss any personnel issues.

In other business, the board will consider:

• Approval of the Student Code of Conduct.

• Approval of the purchase of high school band uniforms.

• Approval of a memorandum of understanding with Upbring Head Start.

• Establishment of track hours.

• Soliciting a new architectural firm.

• Approval of an Enterprise Fleet Management agreement - White Fleet leasing and maintenance program.

• Hear a summer school report.

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