EDUCATION

While no vote on the potential $426 million bond issue was taken Tuesday evening, the Killeen Independent School District Board of Trustees received information on the draft bond proposition and the language that would appear on the May 5 ballot.

Jerry Kyle of the law firm Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP presented the drafts of the statements, which will not be voted on by the KISD board until its Feb. 13 meeting.

Matt Boles, of RBC Capital Markets, presented spreadsheets on how the bonds would be paid off over the 30-year period. “We will carefully time the sale of the bonds to meet the construction schedule of each project,” Boles said during his presentation.

The recommendation projects to be included in the bond issue are:

• Renovations to bring existing campuses into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and address security/safety issues.

• New high school to open for the 2022-2023 school year.

• Consolidation of East Ward and West Ward elementary schools with construction of a new East Ward school.

• Consolidation of Pershing Park and Sugar Loaf elementary schools, with partial rezoning of Bellaire Elementary School, and construction of a new Pershing Park school.

• New elementary school to open for the 2022-2023 school year.

• Renovate and expand Clifton Park Elementary School, with partial rezoning of Bellaire Elementary School.

• Renovations to Killeen High School.

Board president Corbett Lawler raised a key point during the bond discussion. “We need to be certain the schools we build exist in viable attendance zones.”

KISD Superintendent John Craft responded to Lawler’s concern that the plans for school construction and consolidations address future growth in the district.

A public hearing on a number of reports was part of Tuesday’s KISD board meeting.

The Texas Academic Performance Report for 2016-2017, which provides information on the performance of students in each school and districts in Texas every year, was presented. While the district “met standard” in its schools, the TAPR report noted the 2017 Special Education Determination Status as “needs assistance.”

The special education student retention rate exceeds the state average in grades 1-8, with only the kindergarten retention rate being lower than the state average, according to the TAPR report.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board report provides student performance information on students who graduate from the district and enter a Texas public college or university.

Of the nearly 2,000 students graduating from KISD schools in 2015, almost half were listed as “not trackable” or “not found,” with the remaining number broken out by their attendance in two- or four-year public colleges or independent colleges/universities in Texas.

The Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) Financial Standard Report provides actual financial information from the 2015-2016 fiscal year for KISD.

Also Tuesday, KISD’s annual report on violent and criminal incidents was presented.

A 16-year comparison of data shows the number of incidents at its lowest rate in the 2016-2017 school year since 2011-2012. This most recent data shows 413 incidents occurred in 2016-2017, reflecting an ongoing decline in the past five years. The number of incidents from 2011-2012 was 381.

Of continued concern were six incidents involving weapons in the schools.

“We want those kids to be safe,” Lawler said.

The reports presented during the public hearing are available on the KISD website.

In other business:

Dane Legg of Lott, Vernon and Company, PC, presented the final KISD audit results for the 2017 fiscal year to the board. The board voted unanimously to approve the submission of the audit to the Government Finance Officers Association and Association of School Business Officials.

The KISD board voted to terminate contract negotiations with Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. for 2018 roofing life cycle replacement consulting services, and approved Engineered Exteriors, PLLC as the roofing consultant engineer for the 2018 roofing life cycle replacement project. Harker Heights High School and Palo Alto Middle School will receive new roofing as part of this project.

Board members heard a report from Harvey Allen of the law firm McCreary, Veselka, Bragg and Allen, P.C. regarding the collection of delinquent taxes dating back to 2013. The firm sent over 48,000 delinquent tax notices between July 1, 2015, and Nov. 30, 2017, filed nearly 300 delinquent tax lawsuits, recovered 125 judgments and posted over 120 properties for sale due to delinquent taxes.

According to the information presented, MVBA has collected nearly $3 million in delinquent taxes for the years 2013 through 2016.

MVBA is not paid by KISD for collection services. The company’s fees are paid by the delinquent property owners.

The board voted to recognize Feb. 5-9 as National School Counseling Week in KISD. The celebration is sponsored by the American School Counselor Association and highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.

254-501-7568 | jferraro@kdhnews.com

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.