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GISD SCHOOL BOARD TRUSTEES APPROVE DEBT SAVINGS

February 18, 2020 

Granbury ISD School Board

The Granbury ISD Board of Trustees approved substantial savings on existing bonded indebtedness during its regular monthly meeting on February 17, 2020. 

The board approved refinancing of some existing bonds at a lower interest rate with estimated long-term savings of $11.2 million.  Board members also approved a second order to prepay interest on bonds to lower existing debt and reduce future interest payments by $1.4 million.  The total estimated savings to the district and local taxpayers totals $12.6 million, according to the assistant superintendent for finance and operations Dobie Williams.  Both debt plan measures were recommended and approved in consultation with the district’s financial advisor, BOK Financial, and bond attorneys with the firm of McCall, Parkhurst & Horton. 

For the beginning stage of the 2020-21 budget, Williams presented budget assumptions and calendar for development of next year’s financial instrument.  The district will assume 1-3% growth in student enrollment and 99% in tax payment collections.  Williams also noted that House Bill 3 recently passed by the Texas Legislature requires the district to evaluate local property values compared to statewide growth when setting the maintenance and operations tax rate.  The assistant superintendent also reported a revision in recapture payments for the current budget – up to $1.937 million from $1 million predicted when the budget was adopted last August.  

Board members approved the launch of the Little Buccaneers staff childcare center at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year following a presentation by coordinator Tiffany Coordinator, who will oversee the center and the district’s Extended School Day Program at elementary campuses. The childcare facility will be operated at the old STARS building on Acton School Road and will be available for GISD employees’ children aged newborn to 3 years old.  It is anticipated that services will be provided at a lesser cost as an added benefit to employees, who will be able to utilize payroll deduction for semimonthly payments spread out over the school year.  Services will also be available for free to teen parents attending GISD schools, if the student continues to complete their high school education. 

Trustees approved a waiver to the Texas Education Agency allowing for half-day pre-kindergarten for the current school year.  Recent changes in state law required all districts to implement a full-day program beginning in the 2019-20.  However, because of late notice from the agency, districts are allowed five years to implement the program.  GISD intends to begin a full-day pre-kindergarten program at the Emma Roberson Early Learning Academy in the 2020-21 school year, according to assistant superintendent for administrative services Ron Holmgreen. 

In personnel, trustees extended contracts for district and campus administrators, approved the appointment of new teachers at Oak Woods School and STEAM Academy at Mambrino, and received notification of teachers retiring at the end of the school year.  The board also approved one request for catastrophic leave. 

Other reports to the board included: 

  • A staffing and salary review was presented by Zachary Hobbs, a human resources representative of the Texas Association of School Boards.  The initial presentation provided a number of recommendations on modifying current staffing at campuses and departments and also increasing employee pay to remain competitive in the market.  The board and administration will review the study and recommendations and will consider implementation as the district budget allows, according to superintendent Dr. Jeremy Glenn.
  • Williams presented financial statements, cash flow, investment, and categorical expenses reports for January 2020. 

The board approved minutes from the last regular meeting and a special meeting and budget amendments.  Trustees approved an interlocal agreement with Region 10 Education Service Center’s Multi-Region Purchasing Cooperative.  Bids and purchases approved included: facilities and maintenance services; print and copy services; wide area network services; Internet provider. 

In other business, trustees approved out-of-state travel requests for Acton Middle School staff members to attend the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform Conference (including an awards reception for the school’s “Texas School to Watch” redesignation) in Washington D.C. in June and for a student-funded trip with the GHS American Sign Language Club to Washington D.C. in June. 

Board members also approved a waiver to TEA for additional staff development time, changed authorized individuals on district investment accounts, engaged Snow Garrett Williams CPA to conduct the district financial audit for the 2019-20 school year, adopted the 2020-21 middle school course catalog, and extended a partnership with Cook Children’s to conduct the school telemedicine program.

Donations reported to the board included: $3,690 from the Oak Woods PTO for the fourth grade field trip to Austin; $470 from Van Griffith Kia for modified kid power cars for special needs students; $8,500 from the Lady Pirate Golf booster club for team travel; $3,200 from Couto Homes to fund flu disinfecting supplies at all campuses. 

Trustees next convene for the regular monthly meeting on Monday, March 23, 2020. Board meetings are held in the GISD Board Room located in the Administration Building at 217 N. Jones Street.