The Cy-Fair ISD board of trustees unanimously voted to amend its operating procedures during the Dec. 11 board meeting and will now have subcommittees. According to district documents, the function of these committees “shall be fact-finding, deliberative and advisory, but not administrative,” and may also include district staff and community members.

Each subcommittee has three board members assigned by board President Scott Henry and will meet outside of the monthly work session and regular board meetings, according to a Jan. 29 social media post by trustee Julie Hinaman.

The action taken

Only having three board members on each committee avoids having a quorum, meaning committee agendas and findings will not have to be reported to the public or posted on the district website, CFISD General Counsel Marney Collins Sims said at the Dec. 7 work session. Instead, the subcommittees will report their findings to the board for approval and only then be entered into the public record.

“There is some efficiency in it. And I know [Superintendent Doug] Killian comes from a district that has board committees, so he'll be able to lend a lot of expertise to that, but you still have to have discussion and action because board committees cannot ... substitute for action of the board as a whole. And that would never be the goal,” Sims said.

The board previously did not have subcommittees, but Sims said the board work sessions, which take place a few days before the regular board meetings each month, served as a “committee of the whole.”

Three new trustees and one returning incumbent were elected to the board in November, joining three trustees who were halfway through their first terms. Hinaman, the longest-serving member who has been on the board since 2019, expressed some concern regarding transparency but ultimately voted in favor of the policy change.

“I think it’s important that all board members are present to receive reports, and when we’re all here, it’s open to the public; it’s full transparency, full accountability; the public can speak,” she said Dec. 7. “And my concern [with] only having small subcommittees is that those no longer require a quorum and then are no longer open to the public.”

The details

The subcommittees are assigned specific aspects of the district’s business and are comprised as follows, according to Hinaman:
  • Finance and operations committee: Lucas Scanlon, chair; Justin Ray; and Julie Hinaman
  • Academics, safety, vision and planning committee: Christine Kalmbach, chair; Natalie Blasingame; and Julie Hinaman
  • Policy review committee: Todd LeCompte, chair; Lucas Scanlon; and Scott Henry
  • Governance committee: Justin Ray, chair; Natalie Blasingame; and Todd LeCompte
  • Ad hoc—teacher retention: Natalie Blasingame, chair; Christine Kalmbach; and Justin Ray
What else?

In her Jan. 29 post, Hinaman said board committees will begin soon, and updates from those meetings will be shared at the monthly board work sessions.

CFISD board meetings are held at the Mark Henry Administration Building, 11440 Matzke Road, Cypress, and begin at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted on the district website.