By Rebecca LaFlure

Killeen Daily Herald

The Killeen Independent School District will have a 32nd elementary school by the fall of 2012, Superintendent Robert Muller said during a board of trustees workshop Tuesday.

KISD board members unanimously approved the purchase of a plot of land for the future campus, located on Bunny Trail in southwest Killeen, The land will cost about $482,000.

Though KISD's student enrollment is decreasing overall, schools in southwest Killeen are overcrowded and in need of additional facilities, Muller said.

Reeces Creek Elementary School is 500 students over capacity. Muller said the additional campus will help reduce the Reeces Creek student population.

"There are over 1,200 students at Reeces Creek. ... In 2012 we will rezone that section and it will help fix the Reeces situation," he said.

Two other KISD campuses are under construction. Richard E. Cavazos Elementary School on East 10th Street in Nolanville and Charles Patterson Middle School on West Trimmier Road in Killeen are scheduled to open in the fall.

The district will temporarily move all Reeces Creek fifth-graders to Charles Patterson in August. Reeces Creek pre-kindergartners will shift to Saegert Elementary School, Muller said.

Also at the workshop, the board of trustees discussed several information items to be voted on at next week's board meeting.

The board considered a 1.56 percent general pay increase for all KISD employees for the 2009-10 school year – an average $750 annual pay raise per district employee. The raise will cost the district slightly over $3.5 million.

"That market rate for the teacher keeps going up. We're trying to find every available nickel to push in this direction," said Steve Cook, executive director of personnel.

However, the pay-for-performance program, a financial bonus system for KISD employees who meet district-set performance targets every year, likely will be eliminated. On average, KISD teachers receive about $150 to $200 a year from this program.

The board also discussed staffing allocations for next school year. Based on the board workshop packet, the number of full-time district employees will likely be reduced by 180.5. The board has yet to vote on this reduction.

The board approved a reduction of 142 teacher allocations in March due to a projected enrollment decline next year of about 1,250 students.

Employee health insurance was also a discussion topic at the meeting. Currently, the district offers plans through Scott & White and First Care, but Scott & White's renewal rates are expected to increase by 26 percent next year.

The district is considering switching to a single carrier for next year with Blue Cross/Blue Shield. No final decisions were made.

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