Several board trustees attended a Dec. 15 meeting with state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake, during which Capriglione said public education and the school finance system will be a top issue of discussion this legislative session.
“[Capriglione] is extremely confident that school finance reform will take place in some way, shape or form,” CISD board member David Almand said. “He thinks it will be tied to [property] tax reform. There will be give and take on that, but [he] talked a lot about the pressure on elected officials to make changes.”
There were also discussions of how lawmakers should reallocate at least another $2 billion in the state budget for public education, Almand said.
District officials will mail out educational material to legislators to provide information about CISD as a school district. Board members plan to meet with local representatives to discuss public education issues at the end of February, said Julie Thannum, assistant superintendent for board and community relations.
CISD administrators put out a request soliciting proposals from vendors to provide drug-testing services for its voluntary, random drug-testing program designed for middle and high school students, and Compliance Consortium Corporation was chosen to provide these services, Superintendent for Student Services Janet McDade said. Policy for the program was approved by the board at the Dec. 3 meeting.
The next step would be to hold informational meetings for parents and students after the winter holidays, McDade said. The program will begin after the informational meetings, and parents can enroll their students at any time after its implementation, Thannum said.
Bond project updates
Construction for the new state-of-the-art music center at Carroll Senior High school will move forward in 2019, and the project is slated for completion in 2020, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services Matt Miller said during a board presentation.
The high school also has ongoing work at its softball and baseball field complex, Miller said. The project is about a month behind schedule due to excessive rain in recent months, Miller said. Artificial turf and new dugouts have been installed and completed; however, restroom and concession facilities are not expected to be finished until mid-to-late February, Thannum said.
CISD officials also decided to amend the number of classroom additions to be installed at Johnson Elementary School to nine instead of eleven as previously approved in April.
CISD officials scheduled a special session board meeting for 6-7:30 p.m. Jan. 16 to engage high school students in conversations about diversity at The Marq Southlake at 285 Shady Oaks Drive, Southlake.
Although it will be open to the public, the meeting will primarily be for students to meet with CISD board members and have an open dialogue.
Additionally the school district is accepting applications from community members to participate on CISD’s district- and campus-level diversity councils until 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18. Council members will review and advise the school board on recommendations to improve cultural competence in the community.
The district has received approximately 100 applications as of Dec. 17, Thannum said.