2017-04-27 / Front Page

Lexington ISD Hits a Homerun!

Lexington ISD “hit a homerun” recently with a brilliant alignment with a neighboring School District. The game, however, was not “against a foe;” it was with them!

About six months ago, Dr. Brad Schnautz, Superintendent of Lexington ISD, began talks with Rockdale’s Superintendent, Dr. Denise Monzingo. He knew that both school districts could use more financial assistance and he had learned how two districts in the Texas Panhandle reached an agreement that helped both Districts financially.

Dr. Schnautz explained, “Small school districts, like Lexington ISD, which are under 300 square miles, are up against many high hurdles when it comes to school funding. I have been trying for some time to figure out what we might be able to do to overcome those challenges and I learned about an agreement that Booker ISD and Canadian ISD crafted where each district benefited. I took that model to Dr. Monzingo and we were able, with the assistance of Alcoa, to increase Lexington’s district by just over 7,000 acres, giving us the needed land to take our District over the 300 square mile threshold.”

He continued, “By increasing our District from roughly 292 square miles to 300 square miles, we will get an additional $750,000 from the state. The problem then was how to help Rockdale ISD benefit too.”

Dr. Schnautz and Dr. Monzingo then agreed to split the funding from the state, much like the Panhandle Districts did. Lexington ISD will get approximately $425,000 a year for the next five years and Rockdale ISD will get approximately $325,000. They each took the plan to their Board of Trustees and the agreement was approved.

The Minor Boundary Adjustment Joint Resolution Agreement is a five-year agreement that has to be renegotiated every five years. The reason this agreement can be made is because of a small allowance outlined in the Texas Education Code’s SUBCHAPTER F. OTHER BOUNDARY CHANGES, Sec. 13.231, which reads, “MINOR BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENTS BY AGREEMENT.

(a) Two contiguous school districts may adjust their common boundary by agreement if, at the time the agreement is executed:

(1) no child who resides in the territory that is transferred from one jurisdiction to the other is enrolled in a school of the district from which the territory is transferred; and

(2) the taxable value of the territory that is transferred from one jurisdiction to the other does not exceed one-tenth of one percent of the total taxable value of all property in the school district from which the territory is transferred.

(b) In this section, ‘taxable value’ has the meaning assigned by Section 403.302, Government Code.”

Since the 7,136.231 acres is all exempt, being used either for agriculture or wildlife, the taxable value restriction is met, as is the other restriction where no child resides in the territory.

Dr. Schnautz said, “Alcoa has been a great partner in this process. Tommy Hodges, Alcoa’s representative, was extremely helpful in getting the tracts needed. We were blessed to partner with Dr. Monzingo and Rockdale ISD. Students from both Districts will benefit. I am especially grateful to our Board for working with Rockdale on this agreement and for the fact that we were able to do all of this without having to raise taxes. This was certainly a win-win arrangement!”

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