The Longview ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved salary increases for district teachers and staff during their June 14th regular meeting.

Board approves raises for teachers, staff

Mon Jun 14, 2021
 
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The Longview ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved salary increases for district teachers and staff during their June 14th regular meeting.

Dr-James-HockenberryRecommended to the board by Dr. James Hockenberry, Assistant Superintendent of District Services, the 2021-22 Employee Compensation Structure includes normal step increases for teachers, counselors, librarians, and nurses, with a 3 percent from the midpoint raise for other staff.

Dr. Hockenberry said, prior to the measure, the district's pay scale was "already among the highest in our region, and this new compensation structure ensures that Longview ISD remains a 'destination district' for the best of the best in East Texas."

Please click here to download the resolution and related documentation.
 

TEA waiver request

Board members also authorized Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox to submit a waiver request to the Texas Education Agency permitting the district to exceed the 15 percent cap on public school charter enrollment, set by the Texas Education Code.

The original three-year waiver will reach its end this summer and, if approved by the TEA, this waiver will apply for the next three school years.

Longview ISD currently partners with three local non-profit organizations in the management of various district campuses.

Dr. James Coleman, LISD Chief Innovation Officer, said these public school charters have been approved for three different operating partner organizations, "and all of LISD students are involved in these campuses."

"The request for waiver of the 15 percent cap is imperative for the continuation of the System of Great Schools and Senate Bill 1882 benefits for the district," he said. "Although these campuses are afforded greater autonomy and flexibility, the LISD Board of Trustees ensures that district leadership closely monitors both performance and compliance via ongoing data analysis and a structured review process as outlined in the performance contract with the partners."

Gregg-Abbott-headshotPassed in 2017 by the 85th Texas Legislature, under the leadership of Gov. Greg Abbott, Senate Bill 1882 creates new incentives for traditional public schools to partner with outside entities such as charter networks, non-profits, and universities to improve student outcomes. The public school charter program provides extra funding to traditional public school districts that contract with to run their schools as an in-district charter.

In accordance with TEA policy, LISD maintains the authority to set the ground rules the partners have to follow.

For more information about the Longview ISD public school charter program please visit LISD.org/charters, call the LISD Department of Innovation at 903-381-2268, or visit the TEA website: TxPartnerships.org.

Please click here to download the resolution and related documentation.
 

Tech, furniture for Bramlette

Later, the board approved up to $396,000 of grant funds for miscellaneous classroom furniture and technology at the Bramlette Elementary campus.

Dr. James Coleman, LISD Chief Innovation Officer said, in order to meet the goals and objectives of the charter grants, "there are some furniture and technology purchases that the campuses wish to make in order to provide collaborative and theme-based options for students."

"$233,000 of the implementation grant funds will be allocated for technology, with $163,000 to be allocated for furniture," he said.

Board policy requires the approval of LISD trustees when making purchases above $25,000.

Please click here to download the resolution and related documentation.
 

Fees for AP tests

Board members also approved a measure to continue covering fees for 2021 Advanced Placement tests at Longview High.

Mr. James Brewer, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education and campus principal for LHS, praised the board and the administration for "living up to our district's motto of believing in excellence for all."

"Several years ago our board and administration made the decision to pay for the AP tests for students enrolled in the AP classes, and it has been a tremendous blessing to numerous students," he said.

The base rate for AP tests is $95 per student, per test.

Mr. Brewer said the fees have the potential to be a "barrier against academically talented students who come from disadvantaged situations."

"That is the last thing we, as public school educators, should be saying to the young people we are serving," he said. "Rather, we should be removing barriers for our students and their families."

Please click here to download the resolution and related documentation.
 

Air Purification Update

The board also received an informational presentation from Mr. John Follis, President of Harvest Innovative Solutions about a new air purification system that was approved in May during a special-called meeting.

Mr. Follis answered questions and addressed concerns from trustees, and explained that the CIMR System continuously disinfects viruses, bacteria, mold, and other fungi by vaporizing the molecules in the air. 

"It's a system designed to automatically, continuously, effectively, and safely control the spread of germs, viruses, and bacteria," he said. "Our goal is, like you, allowing students and families to return to as much normalcy as possible."

After further discussion from the board, where some concerns about the program were mentioned, Dr. Wilcox said the district would not be moving forward with the plan to install the system at this time.
 

Financial Donations

Board members also approved a donation of $2,090 from the LHS Softball Booster Club to fund supplies and equipment for the team; a donation of $608.28 from the LHS Theater Activity Fund to cover costs related to Music Theatre International; a donation of $475.01 from Foster Middle School to cover costs related to an invoice from Austin Hotel; a donation of $360 from Hollie Fryar to provide meat processing supplies for the LHS Meat Lab; a donation of $300 from ERDI Partner's Inc. to help fund the district's Backpack Program; a donation of $269.25 from Cathy Cole to reimburse for the contract service musical performance at Hudson PEP Elementary; a donation of $250 from Eastman Chemical to fund the Lobo Tennis program at Longview High; and a donation of $100 from Micah Devendorf to fund the "Mustang Wall" project.

Please click here to download the resolution and related documentation.
 

In other business...

During the course of the meeting, the LISD Board of Trustees also:

  • RECEIVED an update from Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox about the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, ESSER II Funds, and how the district leadership continues to research how best to implement those funds for the students, staff, and entire LISD community;
  • RECEIVED the district-wide Safety Report, COVID-19 Update, and LISD Facilities Update from Mr. Dennis WIlliams, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative & Pupil Services;
  • RECEIVED the Community Relations and Human Resources departmental reports from Dr. James Hockenberry, Assistant Superintendent of District Services;
  • RECEIVED an update on the district's Office of Innovation and new enrollment system from Dr. James Coleman, LISD Chief Innovation Officer;
  • RECEIVED the Annual Athletic Report on student achievement and success from Coach John King, LISD Athletic Director;
  • APPROVED a Letter of Engagement with Alexander, Lankford & Hiers, Inc. for the Financial Audit for Fiscal Year 2021;
  • APPROVED the Time Use Tracker and official Minutes for the May 26th Special Meeting;
  • APPROVED the 2021-22 Course Selection Guide for Longview High School;
  • RECEIVED a report on the district's Financial Statement as of May 2021;
  • APPROVED a resolution for the TASB Advocacy Agenda;
  • APPROVED the board's Quarterly Progress Tracker; and
  • APPROVED Budget Amendment No. 12.
     

For more info

Trustees usually meet in the boardroom of the LISD Education Support Center (1301 E. Young Street), but often set special-called meetings at various locations around the district. The next regular meeting is tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m. July 19th, 2021. Meetings are also streamed online at LISD.org/BoardroomLive.

For more information about the Longview ISD Board of Trustees please click here