BCISD proposes new tax rate

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A tax rate for maintenance and operations and debt service for the 2018-2019 school year was proposed by Burnet CISD Board of Trustees at their regular school board meeting on Monday, June 18.

Earlier in the school year, the idea of a Tax Rate Swap and Drop was designed to save BCISD more funds to be used towards students' success. This year, through the “Robin Hood” School Finance Plan, BCISD will have to pay the Texas Education Agency $350,000 that will be distributed among other schools in the system — funds that the district could be using to implement additional innovative courses and materials.

If a Tax Ratification Election is passed, the proposed Swap and Drop is designed to increase the district's maintenance and operations tax rate from $1.04 to $1.06, and decrease the interest and sinking rate from $0.24 to $0.21, resulting in a net tax rate decrease of $0.01. This decrease will give BCISD $540,000 that will stay with the district. The Board of Trustees scheduled a public meeting to discuss this proposed tax rate on Wednesday, July 11.

Director of Elementary Curriculum Shelley Reavis and Director of Secondary Curriculum Jim Connor presented their report on preliminary assessment scores for grades 3 through 8 to the Board, focusing on the “student performance” domain of the scoring system.

Though some areas of students' success showed improvement, many scores were considered unacceptable. Reavis outlined a plan to assist students in improving these scores, focusing on planning and analyzing data, formative assessments, and walk-throughs in which asministration will focus on certain subjects as necessary for student growth.

Administration also plans to participate in an “A-F Camp” to learn more about these ratings and how the District may better perform. Other domains, including school progress and closing certain gaps, will be discussed with the Board at a later date.

Burnet Athletic Director Kurt Jones delivered his report on the 2017-2018 athletic program, touching on the great accomplishments of athletes in every sport this past year.

At Burnet High School, a total of 300 students participated in sports this year, accounting for about one-third of the student body. Jones said they are hoping to see this number go up in the future. A total of 270 students participated in sports at Burnet Middle School, but this number was smaller due to the number of sports offered on that campus.

Many teams and individuals advanced to District, Regional, Area, and State competitions, and 111 student athletes were named to the Academic All-District Team for their academic and athletic accomplishments. Jones applauded the Bulldog Booster Club for its dedication to Burnet athletics; the club raised $50,000 this year, which went toward improvements and additions to equipment.

Jones also expressed a desire for Burnet CISD athletics to move up in ranking for the Lone Star Cup, which is a compiled list of standings for Texas athletic teams, including One Act Play and marching band. Their goal is to earn a spot in the Top 10 by 2021, with the intent to claim first place in the future.

The steps they are willing to take towards that goal include encouraging more students to participate in more than one activity, to better align sports programs, teaching students to train their bodies in a more effective manner to improve students' overall strength, speed, and increasing family and community involvement in UIL practices, competitions, and events.

Athletic Trainer Angel Rios also recognized student trainers Crystal Rios and Makenzie St. Cricq for their accomplishments during the 2017-2018 school year.

Director of Business and Finance Clay Goering presented the Financial Report, and items on the Consent Agenda, including Board Minutes and purchases in excess of $25,000, were approved.

Other business items approved by the Board were the purchase of attendance credits from TEA as the District's option for equalizing wealth level for Chapter 41 status, the 2018-2019 Appraisal Calendar and Student Code of Conduct, and the Flexible School Day program for Quest High School which allows students to complete their schooling on a schedule that better fits their lives.

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