Trustee Scott Bowen expressed concern over the policy regarding school attendance zones, which was the last item on the consent agenda subject for approval. Policies are officially approved after their second reading.
This policy was reviewed at the September policy committee meeting, per board meeting documents. The only recommended change was adding that the options proposed by a school attendance boundary advisory committee would be followed by one to five public hearings; previously the range was one to four.
The committee will re-examine the policy, particularly to revisit the section that outlines factors considered in attendance zone changes. Bowen expressed concern about this section and the possibility of zones being grouped based on actual or perceived demographic characteristics.
“What I don’t want us ever doing ... is social engineering,” he said.
Bowen proposed the Decision Principles section be amended to include that the committee will not consider race or ethnicity, language, income, socioeconomic status, and historical or anticipated academic performance when drawing school attendance zones. The policy committee will bring forth a revised version for approval at the November regular meeting.
“We look forward to hearing the revised [policy] at our next meeting,” President Jay Cunningham said Oct. 25.
Prior to discussion of the agenda items, CCISD parent Christine Parizo urged the board during public comment to remove and reconsider any changes to the policy, amending it to minimize potential displacement of families.
“Many of you won your seats by campaigning on community values,” she said. “If none of you make this motion today, your lack of action will tell us everything we need to know about where you stand on representing your community.”
Other approved policies
Three other policies or policy groupings were approved in the consent agenda on their second reading Oct. 25. One of those, labeled “TASB Local Policy Update 117,” included several policies, one of which involved the expenditure limit for purchases not requiring board approval. This limit was raised from $50,000 to $100,000 with the policy grouping’s approval.
“The major winter storms earlier this year caused extensive damage to many district facilities,” according to language in the Purchasing and Administration section of the policies. “Based on district requests for additional flexibility in such emergency circumstances, [the Texas Association of School Boards] recommends a new provision delegating authority to the superintendent to contract for the replacement, construction, or repair of equipment or facilities in the event of a catastrophe, emergency or natural disaster affecting the district if ... necessary for the health and safety of district students and staff. The superintendent must report to the board any contracts made under the delegated authority at the next regular meeting.”
All policies and the language in each can be viewed with other board meeting documents here.