COLLEGE STATION INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT
REGULAR BOARD MEETING
November 15, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
CSISD Board Room
A. CALL TO ORDER
President Valerie Jochen called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. and declared a quorum was present with seven members present.
B. DECLARATION OF QUORUM/WELCOME
In attendance were President Valerie Jochen, Vice President Paul Dorsett, Secretary Jeff Harris and Trustees Garland Watson, Kimberly McAdams, Carol Barrett and Randall Pitcock.
C-1. Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag and the Texas Flag, and a Moment of Silence
Superintendent Eddie Coulson recognized Student Body President Celina Malave and Sr. Class President Emily Hall. The students led the audience in the pledges and the moment of silence.
a. National Center for Educational Accountability’s Higher-Performing School
Five CSISD campuses recently earned the National Center for Educational Accountability’s Higher-Performing School distinction for the 2011 school year. Congratulations to: Principal Buddy Reed and A&M Consolidated High School in the areas of Math and Science; Principal Nkrumah Dixon and A&M Consolidated Middle School in the area of Math; Principal Kelly Kovacs and Cypress Grove Intermediate School in the area of Math; Principal Annette Roraback and Pebble Creek Elementary School in the area of Writing; and Principal Kathryn Ballard and Rock Prairie Elementary School in the areas of Math and Writing.
C-3. Recognize artwork provided by students A&M Consolidated High School taught by Art Teachers Brent Maxwell, Jami Bevans, and Bob Leland
Student artwork adorned the Board Room walls and was enjoyed by all.
D. CONSENT AGENDA
Agenda Item G – APPROVAL OF MINUTES – October 18, 2011 Board Workshop Minutes, October 18, 2011 Public Hearing Minutes, October 18, 2011 Regular Board Meeting Minutes; Agenda Item H – CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION: Agenda Item H-1: Consideration, discussion and possible action related to End of Course/STAAR policies – EIA Local, EIC Local and a Resolution pertaining to EIE Local; Agenda Item J –BUSINESS: Agenda Item J-2: Consider approval of purchase of furniture for College Station High School from School Specialty, Inc. in the amount of $1,208,885.37; Agenda Item J-3: Consider approval of the purchase of computer tables for College Station High School from Spectrum Industries in the amount of $80,170.46; Agenda Item J-4: Consider approval of purchase of pianos for College Station High School from Strait Music Company in the amount of $52,530.00; Agenda Item J-5: Consider approval of Annual Maintenance and Support Agreements for Hewlett Packards Hardware Maintenance and Software Support in the amount of $58,709.52; Agenda Item J-6: Consider approval of Annual Maintenance and Support Agreements for Sungard Public Sector, Inc. Software Support in the amount of $94,072.66; Agenda Item J-7: Consider approval of Monthly Budget Amendments; Agenda Item J-8: Consider approval of Monthly Financial Reports; Agenda Item K – ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES: Agenda Item K-1: Consider approval of an Interlocal Agreement between Texas A&M University (“TAMU”), the City of College Station (“City”), and College Station Independent School District (“CSISD”) for the shared use of reserved fuel in emergency situations
MOTION XXXX: I move approval of the Consent Agenda, as presented. The motion was made by Trustee Randall Pitcock and seconded by Secretary Paul Dorsett. The motion passed with seven ayes and zero nos
E-1. Consideration, discussion and possible action related to Senate Bill 100 and changing CSISD annual elections to November
Superintendent Eddie Coulson reported that to comply with the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE), the Texas Legislature enacted Senate Bill 100. For CSISD, implications of SB 100 will impact the scheduled May 2012 elections and the Board must take action by December 31, 2011. CSISD has two options: Move elections to every other year in May (odd number years) in order to avoid the overlap in election cycles caused by the primary elections run-off schedule. Moving CSISD elections to every other May would cause the district to move to four year terms; Move elections to the uniform election day in November. Moving the elections to November will cause 3-month extensions of current board members for the next three years.
MOTION XXXX: I move approval of changing CSISD annual elections to November beginning with 2012, as presented. The motion was made by Trustee Garland Watson and seconded by Vice President Paul Dorsett. The motion passed with seven ayes and zero nos.
E-2. Consideration, discussion and possible action related to naming two members to the Brazos County Appraisal District Board of Directors
Superintendent Eddie Coulson reported that the CSISD Board is responsible for appointing two individuals to serve on the Brazos County Appraisal District (BCAD) Board of Directors. John Flynn and Steve Arden have served as the district’s representatives for a number of years. Both have expressed a willingness to continue to serve; however, both have also indicated the need for the district to bring someone new to the board.
Mr. Tim Jones of First Victoria Bank and a long-time resident in College Station has expressed an interest in serving on the BCAD Board. Mr. Jones has a significant track record of community service over the years, and he has a deep understanding of the College Station-Bryan real estate market. Mr. Jones has served as a former member of the CSISD Board of Trustees and a current member of the CSISD Education Foundation Board.
Brief discussion occurred.
MOTION: I move approval of John Flynn and Tim Jones as Brazos County Appraisal District Board of Directors as presented. The motion was made by Trustee Randall Pitcock and seconded by Trustee Carol Barrett. The motion passed with seven ayes and zero nos.
E-3. Consideration, discussion and possible action related to litigation involving school finance
Superintendent Eddie Coulson reported to the Trustees that the finance system for Texas as it pertains to public school finance is not adequate and it is estimated that 500 school districts across the state will file suit against the state of Texas related to this issue. The state has charged school districts with preparing all students for post-secondary education and the work force, and the state is significantly raising the academic expectations for districts and students via the implementation of the STAAR exams. At the same time expectations are being raised for students and districts, funding levels for College Station ISD are being reduced by approximately nine percent.
The system was “dangerously close” to not providing adequate funds for education in 2005. Since then, funding for CSISD has been reduced by approximately 9%. Funding for intervention programs has been dramatically reduced or eliminated (SSI), while state expectations have been raised, i.e. STAAR, including EOC.
In 2005 the Texas Supreme Court ruled that local school districts did not have meaningful discretion over their own taxes in order to enrich the state’s required program. In 2011, even under a new finance system, districts do not have meaningful discretion to enrich the states’ required program. Districts are cutting and reducing programs and people to meet the financial reductions.
The current system was intended to be “temporary” when adopted by the legislature in 2006. The finance system is inexplicable, complicated and arbitrary and not connected to the state’s requirements for students. The finance system SHOULD fund the actual costs of meeting the state’s standards. If the system is to be leveled, it must be leveled up. The state should provide adequate funding for the education it expects and those expectations are for students to be college ready and/or workforce ready.
The law firm of Thompson and Horton will be representing a coalition of school districts to challenge the constitutionality of the current school funding system. Ultimately, the coalition of school districts will be seeking a ruling that will compel the legislature to adequately fund public education, provide local meaningful discretion to school districts and tie the funding of the districts to the standards and requirements as set forth by the state.
Discussion occurred related to a “Call for Action” for the School Board as well as the community.
MOTION XXXX: I move approval of the resolution to participate in school finance litigation and to engage Thompson and Horton LLP regarding the same, as presented. The motion was made by Trustee Garland Watson and seconded by Trustee Carol Barrett. The motion passed with seven ayes and zero nos.
E-4. Board Directions and Reports/Announcements/Superintendent Reports and Announcements
Trustee Kimberly McAdams reported that DEIC met and is focused on the calendar process.
Secretary Jeff Harris reported that PAC met and is focused on budget and reductions, 3-tiered busing. He also wanted to make members of TRS aware of a movement to change the TRS defined retirement system to a defined contribution system.
Vice President Paul Dorsett reported that the Education Foundation is planning 50 Men Who Can Cook for 2/4/12.
Trustee Garland Watson reported that the Intergovernmental Committee met.
Superintendent Eddie Coulson reminded everyone about Early Release on 11/16/11 for staff to deal with staff development as it pertains to leading indicators: grades, attendance, and discipline. Dr. Coulson also announced that CSISD will not implement 3-tiered busing next year.
F. HEARING OF CITIZENS (Non-Agenda/Agenda Items)
1. Grace Stanford addressed the Trustees, thanking them for their work and assuring Trustees that the community needs to be educated related to school finance and CSISD teachers are ready to help.
2. Dennis Macha addressed the Trustees, thanking them for their service and presenting them with research related to high school start times and sleep.
3. Jonathan Coopersmith addressed the Trustees, thanking them for getting involved in the lawsuit. Dr. Coopersmith urged the district to publicize school finance issues and invite the two candidates running for Congress to the workshop.
I-1. Receive Report regarding Highly Qualified Requirements
Superintendent Eddie Coulson recognized Deputy Superintendent Glynn Walker who reported that the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) requires that all teachers of core content areas be Highly Qualified and that the district publicly report the findings. This report includes the NCLB status of teachers throughout CSISD and paraprofessionals at CSISD Title I campuses. CSISD is 100% Highly Qualified.
J. BUSINESS SERVICES
J-1. Consideration, discussion and possible action regarding an order authorizing the issuance of College Station Independent School District Unlimited Tax Refunding Bonds; establishing procedures for the sale and delivery of the bonds; levying an annual advalorem tax for the payment of said bonds; approving and official statement; and enacting other provisions relating to the subject
Superintendent Eddie Coulson recognized Deputy Superintendent Glynn Walker who reported that the District’s Financial Advisors, Southwest Securities, have monitored the status of the district’s outstanding bonds for opportunities to lower the total debt service requirements. The market conditions are currently favorable and due to projected cost savings for the constituents of CSISD, the administration recommends that Southwest Securities be granted authority to pursue this refunding option.
MOTION XXXX: I move approval of an order authorizing the issuance of CSISD Unlimited Tax Refunding Bond; establishing procedures for the sale and delivery of the bonds; levying an annual advalorem tax for the payment of said bonds; approving and official statement; and enacting other provisions relating to the subject, as presented. The motion was made by Trustee Randall Pitcock and seconded by Trustee Garland Watson. The motion passed with seven ayes and zero nos.
L. EXECUTIVE SESSION
Without objection, President Valerie Jochen adjourned the meeting at 8:00 p.m.