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SCHOOL TRUSTEES ADOPT LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES

February 21, 2017
 
The Granbury ISD Board of Trustees adopted legislative priorities at its regular monthly meeting on February 20, 2017.
 
The board approved a joint resolution with the Granbury Chamber of Commerce and Granbury Association of Realtors regarding property tax appraisal caps. Some legislators want to lower the current 10% appraisal cap rate to 3% or 5% under the guise of limiting the property tax bill of a residential homestead, according to the resolution.  The entities oppose this because they believe this artificially limits residential values and would virtually guarantee an automatic annual increase for local taxpayers.
 
Board members also approved a list of legislative priorities prepared by the chamber’s government affairs committee.  For education, the agenda includes support for adequate funding mechanisms to meet the growth demand of the local school district.  “The Chamber supports the Granbury ISD as it continues to provide standards of excellence for educational programs and facilities to prepare its students to be college or workforce ready,” the document states.
 
Specifically the chamber legislative priorities include:
  • SCHOOL FINANCE:  We support meaningful changes to the Texas school finance system that decrease the reliance on recapture, provide an adequate education for all students pre-K-12, eliminate unfunded mandates and accurately reflect the cost of education based on the needs of the student populations served.
  • VOUCHERS, TAXPAYERS, TAXPAYERS SAVINGS GRANTS, OR TUITION REIMBURSEMENT:  We believe vouchers, taxpayer savings grants, savings accounts, tuition reimbursements and other diversions of public money would be detrimental to all Texas public schools. State or taxpayer funds should not be diverted to schools that are not held to the same accountability and transparency standards as Texas public schools.
  • ASSESSMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY:  We continue to be concerned about state testing and how it is used to label students and districts. We should look beyond high-stakes, multiple-choice, developmentally inappropriate exams and we oppose the A-F campus and district labeling system that ignores the complexity of public schools and pits campuses against each other.
  • LOCAL CONTROL: We continue to advocate for less intrusive state government as we believe the best outcomes occur when the state partners with locally elected school boards, who are directly accountable to all students, parents, local taxpayers and local businesses.
In other business, the board reviewed a list of employees who are retiring or resigning.  Trustees approved the 2017-18 school calendar as well as corresponding waivers to the Texas Education Agency for early release and staff development days. The board also granted an easement to the City of Granbury on property next to Acton Middle School.
 
Other reports made to the board included:
  • An overview of the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program was presented by assistant superintendent Ron Holmgreen.  The initiative led by a non-profit organization helps hold students accountable to the highest standards by providing them academic and social support to help them rise to the challenge.  In Granbury, the program will be led by Autumn Lane at Acton Middle School and Donna Dumas at Granbury Middle School and will be expanded over the next few years to include Granbury High School.
  • Superintendent Dr. James Largent indicated that the board and some administrators will travel to Austin on March 7 to meet with state legislators representing Hood County.  He also updated the board on current legislation regarding school vouchers, state testing alternatives, and efforts to continue Additional State Aid for Texas Reduction (ASATR) funding.
  • A March 2018 trip to Hawaii for the Stowaways dance and drill team was presented by director Diane Craig.
  • Financial statements, cash flow and investment report, and a bond expenditure report for January 2017 were presented to the board by assistant superintendent Dobie Williams.
Board members approved minutes from the last regular meeting, budget amendments, and the renewal of a bid for HVAC and registration supplies/equipment.  Also in purchases were $500,000 in bond funds for technology switches and access points at campuses.  The board also approved budget assumptions and a calendar for the 2017-18 fiscal year, procurement methods for summer construction projects, and engagement of the Snow Garrett Williams accounting firm to conduct the annual audit for the 2016-17 fiscal year.  Board members also approved leasing space in the administration building to the Granbury ISD Education Foundation.
 
Donations reported to the board included $300 from the First Christian Church for a horseshoe table at Brawner Intermediate School, $200 from the Hood County Sheriff’s Office for student travel involving the high school law enforcement team, $2,898 from the Lady Pirate Golf booster club for maintenance and repair, $3,000 from the Pirate Golf booster club for student travel, and $1,500 from the Pirate Tennis booster club for student travel.
 
Trustees will hold its next regular monthly meeting on Monday, March 27.   Board meetings are held in the GISD Board Room in the Administration Building at 217 N. Jones Street.
 

 
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