The Levelland ISD Board of Trustees met in a regular meeting on Thursday night.
The board heard the 2017-2018 Audit report from the accounting firm of Myatt, Blume and Osburn. The district received an unmodified report with no findings according to Auditor, Phelps Blume. Blume said, “It was a good year for the district.” The district ended the year with just over $76 million. It was noted that their was a major change in financial audits for governmental entities concerning pension plans. It was noted that with the new requirements concerning employee pension and other retirement benefits. Many entities in other states, have promised retirees certain “fringe” benefits which has caused this requirement to show the impact of those benefits to be included in the audit. Having to include the state portion of retiree benefits caused an adjustment of just over $19 million to be included in the audit. It is not anticipated that the money will ever have to be paid to the state, however, it is required to be on the audit. The adjusted net position shows a negative number, which it was noted that most if not all school districts in the state will have a negative net position due to the adjustment. It is noted that this is really a state deficit that is divided among all districts in the state to pay. The Change in Net Position locally before the adjustment showed an increase of 3.6 million dollars. It was noted that $9.3 million dollars is available in unrestricted funds, which was noted to be a “healthy” fund balance. It was also noted that the General Fund showed a balance of just over $1 million dollars which was not budgeted. Superintendent Jeff Northern noted it has been a total “buy in” by district administrators in getting the district to this point. In summary it was noted the district took in more money than budgeted for and spent less money than budgeted. It was also noted that their were no findings and no material weaknesses in any areas. They are also classified as a low risk audit. The audit was approved on a unanimous vote.
The board also held a public hearing on the 2017-2018 Texas Academic Performance Report. The report is available in full detail on the district’s website. This public hearing also satisfies the report requirement to the school board each year. It was noted that the district was rated as Met Standard and all campuses met standard. The district also met goal in growth in all grade levels. The report also includes attendance rates and drop out rates. It was noted that the drop out rate was 3% and has dropped to just over 1%. It was noted that the government will not give the district credit for students who are completing a court ordered GED which is used by a last resort by judges when students do not attend school and are turned in to the court system. The district also is encouraging more dual credit for students and it was noted that their has been more availability of dual credit courses as well. It also included a report on violence and disciplinary issues in the district. It was noted that it was much the same as previous years.
The board approved consent agenda items with little discussion.
The board also ordered the May 4th election to elect a trustee for District 1 and District 3 which is currently held by Paul Ochoa and Rusty Gibson respectively. It was noted that candidates may file at the Levelland ISD Administration building through February 15th.
The board also reviewed the monthly financial reports. It was reported that the four route buses recently approved by the district was received this week. The new activity bus is expected in the next 4-5 weeks. The bus has been built and is in production line to have air conditioning installed. One of the Ag pickups has been received and the other one is expected in the near future. The reports were approved.
The board approved a proposal from John Roley Auto Center for a 2019 1 ton cutaway van with box and a proposal from Smith South Plains for a 2019 1 ton Regular cab long bed single rear axle truck.
The board also approved the district goals. The board has gone through training with a representative from Texas Association of School Boards in developing the goals.
The board received the quarterly financial reports.
The board also reviewed the budget planning calendar for 2019-2020 budget.
The board also learned that Superintendent Jeff Northern has approved two fund raisers. One for the Middle School Cheerleaders will be selling treats to friends, family, etc to help offset cost of cheer uniforms. He also approved a Brisket Plate to be sold by the LHS Tennis Team prior to the basketball games on January 18th to raise funds for video equipment for review of matches and practice. It was noted that principals have been informed that administration will require more information on the requests so that the board has all the needed information. It was noted that some fund raisers may be going on that have not approved. Principals and teachers have been informed to make sure ALL fund raisers are approved according to the district policy.
The board also discussed future meeting dates. The next meeting will be February 21st. The July meeting was also re-scheduled from July 11th to July 18th.
The board also received an update on personnel matters and approved personnel matters.
Following an executive session, trustees approved extending Superintendent Jeff Northern’s contract on a unanimous vote.