Summary Report & Media Highlights
June 26, 2017
Board of Trustees Regular Agenda:
Board Agenda
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Recognition of #IAMSBISD Award Recipients

Trustees recognized William Norris of Technology Services and bus driver Andria Perez, who were recently awarded with #IAMSBISD medallions. Community Relations Officer Linda Buchman, Associate Superintendent for Finance Karen Wilson and Associate Superintendent of Talent and Operations Jennifer Blaine together presented Norris with #IAMSBISD for #CollaborativeSpirit.

Buchman said that Norris made sure that each of SBISD’s 4,600 employees had an individualized letter explaining each employee’s specific salary and benefit information under the district’s recently adopted compensation plan.

William Norris (second from left) with Jennifer Blaine, Karen Wilson, Linda Buchman, Board President Karen Peck and Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri.

Buchman also presented Perez, who was suggested for recognition by a Hunters Creek Elementary parent. Buchman said that she spent a fun early morning at the transportation department waiting on Perez to return from her route, and that Perez’s “happy, jovial smile” was that much bigger than everyone else’s.

Perez knows all the students on her route and gives all the graduates – 5th grade, 8th grade and 12th grade – a gift. And in a special show of support, a group of Hunters Creek Elementary students attended the meeting for Perez’s recognition.

Andria Perez (center back) with Board President Karen Peck, Dr. Muri and some of her Hunters Creek Elementary bus riders.

Later in the meeting, Bond Advisory Committee (BAC) co-chairs Lewis Gissel and David Slattery were surprised with #IAMSBISD for #CollaborativeSpirit for their leadership during the committee process.

“I’m incredibly impressed with both of you,” said Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri.

Dr. Muri also recognized the entire 103-member BAC an #IAMSBISD for #CollectiveGreatness. “I’ve never seen the level of engagement that I’ve seen here,” Dr. Muri said.

And Director of Facilities Travis Stanford, who Blaine said does an “amazing job” and has worked nights and weekends on the Long Range Facilities plan (and now the BAC), was recognized with an #IAMSBISD for #CollectiveGreatness.

#IAMSBISD recognizes individuals or teams who exemplify one or more of the district’s core values of #EveryChild, #CollaborativeSpirit, #CollectiveGreatness, #LiimitlessCuriosity and #MoralCompass.

Bond Advisory Committee co-chairs David Slattery (center left) and Lewis Gissel (center right) with Board President Karen Peck and Dr. Muri.
Members of the Bond Advisory Committee attending the June 26 Board of Trustees meeting, with Board President Karen Peck and Dr. Muri.
Travis Stanford (second from left) with Jennifer Blaine, Board President Karen Peck and Dr. Muri.

Public Hearing on FY2018 Budget

Associate Superintendent of Finance Karen Wilson presented the proposed FY2018 operating budget in a required public hearing. The budget calls for just over $297 million in expenditures – a $500,000 or .2 percent increase from 2017 – on reduced state funding while paying nearly $25 million more in recapture.

The district in 2018 will pay 19 percent of its locally generated tax revenue in recapture while receiving about 4 percent of its revenue from the state.

The budget is based on a 5 percent increase in property values and uses $14.4 million from the district’s fund balance, or savings account, while keeping the district’s tax rate of $1.3945. Wilson said that the budget supports the district goal of T-2-4 and includes the employee compensation increase recently approved by Trustees.

The debt service budget remains under local control and healthy, Wilson said, and includes a $35.4 million accelerated payment on 2007 bond program principal. Debt authorization under the 2007 program was “fully utilized” as of December 2014.
 
The budget was adopted later in the meeting (see below).

Adoption of Policies: DMA (LOCAL), FEA (LOCAL) and FFA (LOCAL)

Trustees unanimously approved on third reading three local policies. The policies deal with professional development, attendance and student welfare and wellness.
DMA (LOCAL)
FEA (LOCAL)
FFA (LOCAL)


Approval of FY2018 Budget

Trustees unanimously approved the 2017-18 budget. Trustee Josef Klam said that “month after month … (SBISD) is faced with the hard facts of a (school finance) system that’s stacked against us.” Trustee Chris Vierra said that SBISD taxpayers continue to pay more while getting less per student from the state because the legislature didn’t address school finance in its recent session.

“As a community we need to pay attention” to the special legislative session that gets underway on July 18. Board President Karen Peck said that the $2.1 billion in recapture supplants the state’s share of education funding while giving it more to use on roads, prisons, etc. “All of that is important,” she said, “but that’s not what school taxes are for.”

Dr. Muri thanked the budget team for their work and said that staff heard the board say that compensation was the top priority and that was accomplished. “A deficit budget hurts,” he said, “but it was necessary.”


Approval of 2017-18 Health Insurance Rates

Approval of 2017-18 Student/Parent Handbook, Student Code of Conduct and Acceptable Use Policy

Approval of Engagement Pathway for Proposed DoI Innovation Exemption

Trustees unanimously approved an engagement pathway of a public comment period for a proposed exemption to Texas Education Code 25.092, related to the 90 percent attendance rule. The “90 percent” rule says that a student must be in attendance for 90 percent of class time in order to receive credit for a particular class, making up that time with an Alternative Learning Activity (ALA).

Dr. Muri said the proposed exemption is in line with how the district is “thinking differently” about time. He said that there are some students who don’t need to be in class 90 percent of the time to pass a course, that the rule emphasizes “seat time” over learning.

Placing the 90 percent attendance rule under local control would also give administrators the leeway to evaluate a student’s absences and determine the correct course based on that evaluation.

The proposed policy change, including the policy itself and an executive summary, will be posted for public comment on the Board’s policy website through the summer. Trustee Chris Vierra said she’d like teacher feedback and asked if the posting could be extended. Trustee Katherine Dawson said the posting would remain as the proposed policy went through the required three readings as it moved toward consideration.

Approval of Trustees’ Professional Conferences/Training Opportunities for 2017-18

Approval of 2017-18 Board Liaison and Board Representative Assignments
Trustees unanimously approved liaison and representative assignments.

Consent Agenda
Trustees unanimously approved the consent agenda. The consent agenda is a group of routine agenda items that are considered as a whole. Trustees have the privilege of removing items for separate consideration. Board President pulled from consideration item H concerning a SPARK Park and a related contract in item C.

Bond Advisory Committee Report
Trustees heard a recommendation from the Bond Advisory Committee for a $903 million bond program to correct deficiencies revealed in the recently completed Long Range Facilities plan. Board President Karen Peck acknowledged that several Trustees were not in attendance but that Trustees Carter Breed and Pam Goodson had sat as board liaisons to the BAC.
 

BAC co-chairs Lewis Gissel and David Slattery told Trustees that the BAC had three recommendations: all educational facilities should meet an SBISD standard; a bond program should integrate district initiatives with facilities needs; and the total bond package should be under $1 billion and not cause a tax increase.

Meeting over an eight-week period, the BAC took the Long Range Facilities plan and prioritized work into a $903 million package, with 81 percent, or $730 million, for facilities; 12 percent, or $104 million, for technology; 4 percent, or $40 million, for instruction; 2 percent, or $16 million, for administration costs; and 1 percent, or 13 million, for transportation.

 
Trustees ultimately will approve any bond package that might be brought to voters, and board meetings are scheduled through July and into August to discuss the BAC’s recommendations.

Legislative Update
Dr. Muri said that he would be watching the Legislature as it goes into special session on July 18. Trustee Josef Klam said that constituents might consider using campaign donations as leverage when talking to legislators. Trustee Chris Vierra cautioned that the property tax chatter coming from the Capitol is about municipalities and has nothing to do with school finance and recapture relief.

Closing Remarks
Dr. Muri called last week’s Leadership U for district and campus leaders a “wow” experience, and thanked Associate Superintendent for Academic Performance Tyler Ream and Associate Superintendent for Research and Design Elliott Witney and their teams for the job they did.
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