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Seen and Heard at the June School Board Meeting

Posted Date: 07/05/2023

Seen and Heard at the June School Board Meeting

June 26, 2023 – Monday’s School Board meeting began with Superintendent Doug Loomis leading a discussion on proposed City plans regarding many of the community parks adjacent to District schools. Amarillo ISD has been in partnership with the City to maintain parks since 1944, but the City is proposing to dissolve the partnership and stop maintaining park equipment and facilities that are on school district property. Mr. Loomis and the Board also discussed the results and implications of a recent District demographic study, performed by School District Strategies. AISD is down 10% in enrollment since its peak in 2015-2016, due to various factors including a declining birth rate, limited new residential development within AISD boundaries, and an aging population.

In other business, the Board adopted a total budget of $333,649,336 for 2023-2024, which projects decreased revenues due to an anticipated drop in enrollment of another 500 students.  Trustees approved an employee compensation package that includes a 2% raise for all staff (with the exception of temporary staff), at a cost to the District of $4,651,397.  The Board also approved two one-time $1,000 retention incentives to be given to all non-temporary, full-time staff in September and in December of 2023. The Board increased the District’s beginning teacher salary to $53,333, and they approved another $125 stipend to each teacher, counselor, nurse, and librarian for classroom supplies.  Tutor pay will decrease from $50 per hour to $35 per hour and sub pay is decreasing by $25 per day to $107 per day.

Trustees approved moving regular Board meetings from the third Monday to the second Monday of the month to help avoid conflicts with several holidays and breaks that often occurred on the third Monday. View the Board meeting schedule for 2023-2024.

At the recommendation of AISD’s School Health Advisory Council (SHAC), the Board approved Worth the Wait, an abstinence-based education and decision-making program, as the District’s human sexuality program for 2023-24.  Worth the Wait, which is taught by trained professionals to all 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th graders in AISD, has been in use in the District since 2004.

The Board approved homeschool students to participate in District UIL activities, and they approved allowing non-District students, such as homeschool or private school students, to attend AmTech Career Academy, on certain conditions. Trustees also approved the 2023-2024 Student Code of Conduct, with no changes from last year, and they approved a contract with Perdue, Brandon, Fielder, Collins & Mott law firm to represent the District in appeals for additional state aid based on tax collection amounts and actual property values.

Finally, Trustees acknowledged gifts and donations in the amount of $29,824.16 given to schools this month from Alex Schiffmacher/Mudd Rack, Plains Dairy, Pantex Plant, Amarillo National Bank, Vessel of Humanity and Compassion, Inc., Bret Baer, Big Jim’s Pizza Co., Alex O’Brien Tennis Foundation, Kelly Whittenburg, Thien Vo Family, Lawrence and LeDon Baird in memory of Helen Porter, Melissa Morris, Bell Textron, Inc., and Crockett PTSO.