Kerrville ISD trustees approved a budget of $42.2 million and a tax rate to fund the 2020-21 school year at their Aug. 17 meeting.

Adoption 2020-21 Budget

Superintendent Dr. Mark Foust and Assistant Superintendent for Business Jarrett Jachade presented to trustees the proposed budget for the 2020-21 school year.

The budget outline listed expenditures in payroll, contracted services, supplies, other operating expenses, and capital outlay.

The outline listed a balanced budget at $42,210,183.

The highlights include a total tax rate of $1.11 (down from $1.17) per $100 valuation; two added special education staff members based on qualifying student numbers; a 1 percent midpoint raise for all staff and equity adjustments; increased technology capability through network and infrastructure; and a balanced budget that does not use any reserves to meet daily operational expenses.

They told trustees the 2021 revenue sources are 67 percent local, 32 percent state and 1 percent federal.

Monday night’s budget was requested for adoption to cover the district’s General Fund (maintenance and operations), the debt service fund and the child nutrition fund.

Jachade illustrated KISD’s property tax base on a comparative bar graph going back to 2011-12; the tax rate history, noting this is a second year the rate has decreased; and a bar graph about KISD student population.

Jachade said, on that bar graph, the bottom section of each bar is the average daily attendance of just at 4,500 students, and that is the number of students on which KISD’s funding is based.

He and Foust are estimating increased revenue by $453,182; and that amount is based on an increase of local revenue of $1,050,000 minus a decrease in state revenue of $596,818.

Trustees voted 7-0 to approve the budget.

Adoption 2020-21 Tax Rate

The KISD administration proposed a total tax rate of $1.115 per $100 valuation.

That rate includes a $0.915 per $100 valuation rate for the district’s general fund, and $0.20 for “interest and sinking” (debt service).

Jachade told trustees that this rate is lower than the tax rate for the 2019-20 school year, after legislation from the Texas Legislature was applied and the Texas Education Agency applied a “compression factor” based on KISD’s enrollment numbers.

The agenda said this tax rate will raise more tax revenue for maintenance and operations than last year’s rate.

Trustees adopted this tax rate by a unanimous vote.

Public Hearing

This meeting was preceded by time for a public hearing on the FY20-21 budget and tax rate; and advance notices offered in-person or via Zoom. But no citizens attended or called in to ask questions or provide input.

COVID-19 update

Foust presented an update on virus protections considered in plans for the re-opening of school on Aug. 24, saying they are based on state and national guidelines; and staff and student and parent input and questions.

They have plans for student health screening questions, keyed to each student’s answer to, “Are any of these symptoms new to you?”

The safety steps include daily staff and student screenings; procedures for those with symptoms; masks for all when social distancing isn’t possible; increased hygiene; changes to drop-offs, pick-ups and lunch procedures; limiting sharing; and frequent disinfecting of all spaces.

“We all have to realize we will have COVID cases in classrooms and common areas; no one should be surprised. We will have to address each of them appropriately,” Foust told trustees.

Parents got time schedules (“instructional framework”) to show the schedules that could be applied for in-person, Virtual KISD 2.0, and blended Virtual KISD and in-person electives.

Foust said their parent surveys still show about two-thirds of them continue to favor in-person instruction over virtual learning.

Bond Program update

Foust presented an overview of the latest progress on construction and renovation projects being paid for by the 2018 Bond Issue.

He said for roofs, HVAC and MEP, demo work began early and was progressing, but some of the needed equipment didn’t arrive as scheduled.

The 21st Century Flex Spaces, the Tally Elementary School entry and gym flooring, the Early Childhood Center decking renovation, and Tally and ECC awnings; and the Central Office windows, condensate lines and roof repairs are all in “Package 2 Renovations.”

Foust said their goal to have all projects completed on time, under budget and with highest quality still stands. He walked trustees through the status of those projects, saying there have been delays in some of the Flex Spaces, but the work on the Tally entry and gym flooring is almost done, as are the ECC decking renovations.

Materials are still delayed because of production under virus conditions, for the awnings planned at Tally and the ECC.

“The canopy between the Tivy Childhood Development Center buildings is complete, but the ECC bus pickup area canopy isn’t done because the product was delayed,” he said. “That and the windows at Central Office probably will be done in September.”

He said projects at Daniels, Starkey and Nimitz are mostly, substantially, complete including large numbers of new HVAC units installed at all three campuses.

The same work was being done at BT Wilson, Tally and Tivy. At the high school, roof repairs were minor, he said; and roof-top air handlers will ship at the end of September and installation is scheduled in October.

“The contractors will have to use cranes to put those on the roof,” Foust said.

He showed trustees photos of the Hal Peterson Middle School construction as of Aug. 7, saying it changes daily; and followed that with drone footage taken May and then on Aug. 7 to show the contractors’ progress on the new building.

A brief discussion followed on how the City of Kerrville’s street construction on the Olympic Drive extension is going, as it looked much more complete in the same drone footage.

Trustees were told that the new street bordering the HPMS site might be finished this October.

Consent Agenda

Under the Consent Agenda, trustees approved with no discussion the minutes of a previous board meeting and a workshop; the “Board Standard Operating Procedures;” the teacher evaluation calendar and appraisers; the 2020-21 “Student Code of Conduct;” the Kerr Central Appraisal District 2020 budget; a settlement agreement with Fugro USA Land, Inc.; and an interlocal agreement with the Texas Education Agency “Operation Connectively.”

No details or explanations were given for any of these items.

Upcoming events

The school district’s list of upcoming events includes the following:

• Sept. 21 – 6 p.m., KISD Board of Trustees meeting;

• Sept. 28 – 6 p.m., Superintendent evaluation;

• Sept. 30-Oct. 2 – Virtual Convention, Texas Association of School Boards;

• Oct. 19 – 6 p.m., KISD Board of Trustees meeting;

• Nov. 16 – 6 p.m. KISD Board of Trustees meeting.

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