2009-10-29 / Front Page

Lower Student Enrollment Hard on LISD Budget

The Lexington I.S.D. Board of Trustees held their regular meeting on Monday, October 19.

In the Superintendant's report, Dr. Chuck Holt reviewed the 2009- 2010 budget following the end of the first six weeks. He reported that student enrollment is not adequate to generate state funds to meet the budget. When asked by the Leader to clarify, Dr. Holt said, "It's not as bad as it sounds, but I wanted to let the board know early in the year so that we can be prepared for the future."

He continued, "We're usually ahead of the budget. It's very unusual for us to get behind, but enrollment is down about 20 students this year and, since we're paid by the student [from the state], we have to contemplate cost saving measures now."

In 2005, LISD's student enrollment hit its high at 1046. This year's enrollment is almost 100 kids less than that, the cause of which could be a combination of the economy, sub-contractors no longer working at Alcoa and students moving out of the district. Dr. Holt said for the past 20 years, LISD's enrollment has averaged a 3% increase each year. However, this year, enrollment was down.

During the board meeting, Dr. Holt said administrators will continue to review the budget to find cost saving measures for the school year if enrollment does not increase.

In other board news, the minutes of the September 21, 2009 regular meeting, board financial report, quarterly investment report and levy roll were approved.

The audit report for year ending August 31, 2009 was presented by Trey Moses with John R. Pechacek, Certified Public Accountant, and was accepted as presented.

English Language Arts textbooks are up for adoption for all grades. The committee, as recommended by administrators and approved by the board, will consist of teachers from each campus. They will begin reviewing texts and attending book fairs in order to recommend the most suitable textbooks for each campus.

The Quarterly Curriculum and Instruction Report was presented. To meet the newest health TEKS, a sexuality curriculum must be taught to secondary students. The curriculum entitled "Big Decisions" was found to be the most appropriate for our students. This curriculum like any sexuality curriculum in Texas, offers parents the option of excluding their child. Katharine Bricker reported on the research and recommendation of this curriculum. The Board voted to approve the "Big Decisions" curriculum.

The Board of Trustees convened in closed session to discuss a teacher's letter of resignation, effective immediately, which was received via fax.

In open session, the members of the board voted 5-0 on a motion to propose the termination of the contract of Mara McDowell on the basis of the abandonment of her contract with the District. McDowell has 15 days to appeal the board action to the commissioner.

The board agenda items for the November meeting were reviewed.

Board trainings are scheduled for November 9th and February 22, 2010.

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