CCAISD trustees on Monday approved a measure to consolidate the two current campuses – Eagle Elementary and Van Horn Secondary – into one campus.

Having one campus would “streamline administrative duties by working smarter, not harder,” 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],” 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,” 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.”

Ms. Engle said that a “realignment” 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,” said Mr. Gonzalez. If property values decrease, the E&I rate will increase.” 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.

He said that if trustees propose a bond issue for November, the timeline would be as follows:
•Aug. 17 – last day to call election
•Sept. 4. – last day notice of election should be submitted to county/district clerk
•Oct. 4 – dates that election notices must be published
•Oct. 19-30: early voting
•Nov. 3 – election day
In other action, trustees:
•Renewed auditing services contract with Smith & Rives, PC
•Renewed contract for Yolanda Ortega
•Approved the hiring of Jeffrey Anderson as the district’s new band director. Mr. Anderson is from Plains, Texas.
•Approved a Shared Service Agreement with El Paso ISD Regional Day School Program for the Deaf
•Approved seeking bids for instructional computer replacements
•Approved seeking bids for surveillance system
•Approved making improvements to superintendent house
•Approved 2015-2016 school calendar
•Interim Superintendent Debbie Engle reported that she had accepted the resignation of teacher Janelle North.


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