BY ROBERT MORALES
CCAISD trustees on Monday approved a measure to consolidate the two current campuses â€“ Eagle Elementary and Van Horn Secondary â€“ into one campus.
Having one campus would “streamline administrative duties by working smarter, not harder,â€ said Debbie Engle, Interim Superintendent. “It would increase options for student programs by better utilizing our existing staff. Also, it is more efficient in our budgeting [process],â€ she added.
“Everyone I have spoken to, including our region and other school districts, no one has given me a negative to go to a Pre-K-12 campus,â€ she said. “I would like to believe that any changes that we make will make things better for the students and over-working our teachers is not good for the students.â€
Ms. Engle said that a “realignmentâ€ of administrators would take place. Dolores Upchurch currently serves as Eagle Elementary principal and Kittie Gibson is the Secondary School Principal. Ms. Engle was not specific as to how a realignment will affect one of the two principals.
Before this item was presented, David Gonzalez with Estrada Hinojosa Investment Bankers, made a presentation for a potential bond issue. He said that if the district is planning on any construction projects, now would be the time to get prepared for a bond election in November because of the historically low interest rates.
He noted that the districts Interest and Sinking Fund (E&S) is very low at 3.2 cents. The E&S is the tax rate levied on taxpayers for indebtedness. If the district proposed a $21 million bond issue, Mr. Gonzalez said the E&I rate would increase to 27 cents.
“E&S is based upon property values and tax collection rate,â€ said Mr. Gonzalez. If property values decrease, the E&I rate will increase.â€ He said the inverse is true if property values increase.
He also gave the example of a $24 million bond issue. In this scenario, the E&S would go from the current 2.3 cents to about 34.98 cents.
He added that whenever a school district is thinking about issuing a bond for financing, there are two sources of funds: the Maintenance and Operations Fund and the Interest and Sinking Fund, specifically used for construction projects.
The only way to levy taxes, he said, is to hold an election. The I&S cannot be increased without getting voter approval.