At the July 12 meeting of the BISD trustees, chairs of the recent Blanco High School Reunion committee Yalene Hobbs and Johnnie Mae (Kneupper) Barnett, thanked BISD maintenance director Tony Petri and his staff for their help in setting up chairs and tables for the reunion, attended by over 500 people. They also presented trustees with a check for $656.77 in token of their appreciation.
Also in Open Forum, Kendall County Commissioner Darrel Lux and other Kendall County residents continued their quest to have the old Kendalia School returned to Kendall County.
Lux reported that he has gathered over 270 signatures on a petition of support for the return of the historic building. In response to BISD trustees’ request to measure public support, Lux explained that the 2001 Constitutional Amendment, allowing the Texas Legislature to give local school districts the power to donate real property formerly used as a school campus back to the counties, passed in Blanco County 418-78 and in Kendall County by a margin of 948-163.
He reminded trustees that Kendall County has spent over $170K since 1999 in improvements to the building, which serves as a library and as a gathering place for numerous community organizations as well as private events such as family reunions. He commented that the appraisal being requested by trustees will reflect the improvements made through private donations and fundraisers over the years. Lux requested that the request be placed on the agenda for the August meeting. Trustees discussed the issue in executive session but took no action.
Superintendent Dr. Buck Ford reported a number of upcoming events, including a Blanco ISD Policy Review Workshop July 21 at 7 p.m. conducted by TASB’s Kathy London. Trustees Charles Riley, Darrel Wagner, and Mary Ann Weaver will attend the TASB/TASA Fall Convention in Houston September 24-26. Trustees approved a calendar for teacher appraisals as part of the Professional Development and Appraisal System (PDAS), which will include teacher self-reports and formal evaluations of teachers by their supervisors. Principals Dustin Barton, Sue Ann Reininger, and Jesse Salazar were approved as alternate PDAS appraisers by unanimous vote of the trustees.
Trustees also set the date of August 9, 2010, at 7 p.m. at Blanco High School for a public meeting to discuss the budget and proposed tax rate for the school year 2010-11. Financial manager Kay Fraser presented the trustees with an estimated budget, which she called “a very tight budget,” supported mostly by local taxes. She pointed out that there will be a slight decrease in federal funding, and that state revenues will be “very static,” in her words. Health insurance costs will rise from $250-$300 per month per employee, but the budget will have a modest increase of $200K or so. She thanked the trustees for their approval of salary recommendations, which include increases as well as retention pay. She cited the small turnover in staff in the 2009-10 year as evidence of satisfaction with salaries and benefits.
Instructional costs comprise 60.27 percent of the proposed $12,959,552 budget.
Dr. Ford also updated trustees on the Facility Study and Citizens Advisory Committee meetings. Two meetings have been held, and the third will take place July 20 at Blanco High School. Ford said the committee members “have been working very hard.” Their findings will be presented at the August 9 trustees’ meeting.