Levelland ISD Board of Trustees met for a regular meeting Thursday night.
They began the meeting by canvassing the ballots for the Trustee Election. There was a total of 72 votes cast with 31 for Mike Stanford, 40 for Rusty Gibson and one blank ballot.
Trustees also recognized outgoing board member Paul Ochoa. He has served as the district 1 trustee for many years.
Trustees then took action to appoint a trustee to district 1. The board had asked for letters of interest for several months. Trustees have reviewed the letters received and after some discussion, the board appointed Crystal Lewis to fill the seat until the next election in May of 2020. Both trustees for District 1 and District 3 were administered the oath of office.
Board members elected officers for the 2019-2020 school year. Tania Moody was elected President, Rusty Gibson, Vice President and DeEtte Edens , Secretary.
The board appointed Treva Potter as the delegate to the School Board convention and Crystal Lewis as the alternate delegate.
The board also approved the purchase of new band uniforms for the Levelland High School Marching Band. The cost of the uniforms come in at $78,203. Director of bands Will Burke has been working on the design of the uniform for the past several years. The old uniforms will be donated to a program which will donate them to bands in South America.
The board held a public hearing on Federal and State Funded Program applications as required by law prior to applications for the next school year. There is a projection of $900,000 in Federal Grant Programs for the 2019-2020 school year.
The board approved a resolution for the disposal of three vehicles according to district policy.
The board also received the monthly financial reports and approved with little discussion. It was noted that the district is currently in negotiation for property/casualty insurance for the district. The district is currently looking at options. The district is also looking at re-financing the 2011 bond issue to save the district money in interest on the bonds.
The board also discussed the sale of the Carver Learning Center facility and property. The district has been contacted by two community members who are interested in purchasing the building. This is only the first step, which involves the district going out for bid for the sale of the property. The building is currently vacant and the gym and cafeteria are used only periodically. The board approved the sale after little discussion.
The board also approved an Interlocal Agreement with Education Service Center 20 for Special education Services.
They also approved a budget amendment.
Trustees also received a legislative update from CFO, Lance Terrell. The Senate has approved their school finance bill. They are giving more money to property tax relief and had to reduce basic allotment to make up difference. The pay increases for staff are also included in the Senate version, however, it is a little different than the house version. The senate approved $5,000 per teacher and librarian. There are some issues, mainly because it will become unsustainable and could be withdrawn by the state, but the district would have to keep it going because they cannot drop a teachers salary. The house version kept the increase built into funding formulas which is necessary. With the senate version, the district also cannot use the $5,000 to increase the minimum pay schedule. Their are negotiations ongoing between the two chambers before the end of the session which ends May 27th. The senate is also using test based funding which is basing funding on 3rd grade Language Arts test. The senate is also looking at going to current year value system for funding which could make it impossible to budget and could also cost Levelland ISD funding. The house version is and always has been based on prior year values. The senate version also has a property tax cap built in, which could lead to an inefficient tax structure. There is also Senate Bill 29 which would limit local voices in Austin.
The board also received an update on Summer teacher and staff trainings. All teachers are required to attend five days training during the summer in exchange for five days off during the school year.