Levelland ISD Board of Trustees met Thursday night in a regular meeting.
The board canvassed the election results from the school board election held Saturday. There was a total of 652 ballots cast in the election. DeEtte Edens and Carrie Ellis were sworn in for the two at-large seats and Ronnie Watkins was sworn in as the District 5 representative.
According to board policy the board elected new officers. Tania Moody was elected on a unanimous vote as President. Rusty Gibson was elected as Vice President. DeEtte Edens was elected as Secretary.
Ronnie Watkins was appointed as a delegate to the Texas Association of School Board convention. Carrie Ellis was appointed as the alternate.
The board discussed the remodel and renovations of the Cactus campus. The total cost for the project come in at $443,622. This project includes repainting, replacing most all the floor covering, replacing ceiling tiles and installing new lighting throughout the building. It was pointed out that there are no renovations to the restrooms. The majority of the project is being done by local bidders. It was noted that there is only one company out of Lubbock, the remainder is out of Hockley County. The bids were approved with little discussion.
The board also held a public hearing on the federal and state funded program applications.
The board also approved the monthly financial report including the bond project finance report. There is still the Cactus campus renovation to be done and the Ag Farm to be completed as well as demolition of the old Lobo Stadium.
The board also acted to approve a 2% Consumer Price Index increase for the food service contract. This is in accordance with the contract which began in 2016. It was noted that the cost of each meal for the district for Breakfast is $1.29 per student and lunch is $1.86 per student.
The board also acted to approve the lunch prices for Elementary and Secondary. The increase is dictated by Texas Department of Agriculture. The cost for Elementary lunch will be $2.00 and Secondary will be $2.30. Both of those increases are ten cent increases.
The board also approved a budget amendment to allocate more funds for travel due to success in extra-curricular activities. The money was moved from some extra money that was figured in to instructional funding.
The board also approved changing of companies for the Employee Sponsored 457 fund. The new company Inves Trust gives the employees more options.
The board also received an update on the 2017-2018 budget. The preliminary tax values were received by the district. It was noted that oil has increased but is still down from where it was two years ago. It was noted that the values were not as good as expected, the increase amounted to 27 million dollars in property values for the district. It was noted that values last year were down over 400 million dollars. Next year’s budget will be a very tight budget based on the slight increase in property tax values. There is a very slight increase coming in state funding based on what is being looked at by the state legislature. He is tasking the board to look at ways to increase revenue for the district. He noted this budget will likely be a worst-case scenario budget. He mentioned that the options to increase revenue include increasing enrollment, cut expenses or a last option including a tax rollback election.
Superintendent Jeff Northern gave a brief update on the bond projects. The new ag form construction is progressing on schedule. Clean up has started on the old ag farm and the current owner is allowing the district time to get clean up completed and getting moved to the new facility. The district is currently working to complete all of the security components for the campuses.
Following a brief executive session, the board took action on new hires including Victoria Vestal for 5th grade math at Intermediate, Jefferson Marshall for English Resource at the high school, Jessica Neill, 3rd grade at Capitol Elementary, Daintry Robertson and Sherry Bojarski for SPECO. Lyndsay Lucas, the current ABC Assistant Principal was moved to fill the Secondary Instructional Specialist position and Laurie Jones, a current history teacher at the middle school will be one of the Assistant Principals at the Middle School next year. The board also acted on a unanimous vote to terminate the contract of Lauren Duke a teacher at the Intermediate campus at the end of her contract this year. This was her first year with the district. Director of Administrative Services Rodney Caddel was not able to comment further on the reason for termination, stating it is a personnel matter.