CCAISD parents survey at 50/50 on attendance versus online classes

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By Becky Brewster

The Culberson County-Allamoore ISD Board of Trustees met in Special Session on August 10, 2020. In keeping with the mandates from the state and federal government concerning social distancing, the Board met through video-conferencing.

The primary purpose of the special meeting was to obtain public input on the proposed tax rate. Supt. Ken Baugh reviewed the calculations showing that the proposed M&O Rate was $.87470/$100 valuation and the proposed Debt Rate was $.40/$100 valuation for a total proposed rate of $1.27/$100 valuation. The rate proposal incorporates the “compressed” tax rate mandated by HB3. The State is compressing the M&O rates to $.83 – $.88 with property rich school districts like CCAISD being on the lower end of the scale. If a district meets certain guidelines, they qualify for an additional “five golden pennies.” CCAISD qualifies for the additional pennies, so this brings their allowable rate to the $.87470/$100 valuation. Baugh pointed out that this rate is $.10 less than the 2019 rate which provides a “nice tax cut” to the taxpayers. He also noted that the decline in the oil and gas industry will catch up next year with a likely reduction in taxable valuation. The Board accepted the proposed rate, and will vote on its adoption at the August 24, 2020 meeting. Baugh informed the Board that the adoption of the tax rate has to be unanimous or the District will lose one of the “golden pennies.”

Trustees then approved an interlocal agreement with Culberson County. The County is transferring the title of an inoperable backhoe to the District. Baugh indicated that the District will attempt to rebuild the backhoe and place it into operation. In exchange, the District is transferring eight speed bumps to the County to be used primarily at the Cemetery. There have been two recent accidents at the Cemetery due to excessive speed with injuries and property damage occurring. Trustee Sandy Garibay noted that the City is requesting a TXDOT traffic study around the CCAISD properties to determine traffic volumes and needed traffic control measures to ensure the safety of our school children and staff.

Baugh reported that the Van Horn Technology Early College High School to be known as VH Tech has been set up with incoming ninth graders beginning with one college level class. He also reported that the District has received a grant to purchase an instrumentation lab. Baugh noted that VHTech will “set up our kids to be extremely competitive over the next 4-5 years.”

Principal Charles Gonzalez reported that registration began August 10 with returning students being able to register online. Registration can be accessed through the CCAISD website parent portal. New students are still subject to the “paper packet” registration with packets being available at the Van Horn Schools main office.

In other business, the CCAISD Board members:

Reviewed the updated COVID-19 mitigation plan that is in place to protect students and staff. Baugh noted that CCAISD’s plan is more comprehensive than many other Districts.

Noted that the parent survey still indicates that families are split about 50/50 for online classes versus attendance. The final parent selection will be locked in for the first grading period.