Trustees approve 4 percent raise for teachers, staff

Tubb and Germanwala swearing-in

Longview ISD trustees approved a 4 percent raise for district staff, set new board officers, and passed a resolution to reimburse bond project costs, among other business during their regular meeting Monday, June 10.

Pay raise for teachers, staff

Board members unanimously approved a 4 percent pay raise for teachers and a 4 percent increase in the midpoint for all other district employees as part of the 2024-25 compensation plan. 

This is part of the district's ongoing efforts to maintain strong fiscal responsibility while also ensuring we remain a regional leader in staff compensation to recruit and retain the best employees.

In addition to the 4 percent increases, the board also approved revisions, deletions, and adjustments to certain employee stipends and supplemental pay. 

Ms. Shalona McCray, Chief Human Resources Officer, said Longview ISD values its employees and "desires to compete to attract and retain the best staff for our students and community."

"This increase in staff compensation allows us to recruit and retain competitively in each position within the region," she said.

Click here to download the resolution and related documentation.

Project Reimbursement 

Trustees also unanimously approved a resolution to reimburse up to $6.5 million in bond project costs with future obligation proceeds. 

The district had started essential bond projects prior to the successful May 4, 2024 election.

Dr. Wayne Guidry, Assistant Superintendent of Finance, explained that this reimbursement allows the district to "pay for the projects upfront using current funds and later repay those funds with bond proceeds."

"This approach ensures the district can address critical infrastructure needs without delay, while aligning with federal and state laws governing tax-exempt obligations," he said. 

Dr. Guidry explained that, to qualify for reimbursement, all costs must be capital expenditures. 

"The bonds cannot be issued more than 18 months after the expenditures are paid or the property is placed in service, and no more than three years after any individual expenditure is made," he said. 

Dr. Guidry said this measure allows the district to act quickly on approved bond projects, "while preserving the option to reimburse those funds with future obligation proceeds."

Click here to download the resolution and related documentation.

Trustee Reorganization

The board also reorganized its officers after giving the oath of office to Mr. Michael Tubb (Place 1), Dr. Samir Germanwala (Place 3), and Dr. Troy Simmons (Place 7).

Mr. Tubb and Dr. Simmons were unopposed in the May 4 election, with only Dr. Germanwala drawing an opponent. Dr. Germanwala won his second term in office by almost a two-to-one margin, receiving 536 votes, or 63.81 percent of ballots cast in Place 3. 

These three trustees will serve three-year terms until their next election in May 2027. The next trustee election is set for May 2025 and will include Place 5, currently held by Ms. Lateefah Pruitt, and Place 6, currently held by Mr. Ted Beard

Officers for the board will be Mr. Tubb, board president; Dr. Germanwala, vice president; Mr. Beard, board secretary, and Ms. Pruitt, assistant secretary.

Serving as a link between the community and the classroom, school board members are elected to establish the policies that provide the framework for public schools. LISD trustees are responsible for an annual budget of nearly $100 million, over 8,000 students, and more than 2,000 staffers.

Purchases for Gaming Program

Later, board members approved expenditures up to $300,000 for miscellaneous technology purchases using federal Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) grant funds. 

Mr. Scott Fisher, Director of Safety & Magnet Grants, said the purchases, which included computers, monitors, gaming peripherals and keyboards, headsets, and webcams, "are necessary to meet the goals and objectives of the MSAP grant and support the district's new Gaming Science and Digital Arts program." 

Board policy requires approval for any purchases exceeding $50,000 and Mr. Fisher explained that, "in aggregate, these purchases will exceed the threshold for board approval."

The technology is slated for use at Bailey Elementary, Forest Park Middle, and Longview Early Graduation High.

Click here to download the resolution and related documentation.

Science Materials Approved

Later, board members approved the purchase of K-12 instructional science materials from McGraw-Hill for $875,000. 

Funded by the district's Instructional Materials Allotment (IMA) funds, the purchase will provide all students and teachers in grades K-12 with digital, print, and consumable access to the research-backed, personalized, and engaging science curriculum. 

Click here to download the resolution and related documentation.

Strategic Plan for MSAP 

Later, board members approved a $82,000 contract with Civic Solutions Group to develop a five-year strategic plan for the district. The contract period runs from July 1, 2024, through September 30, 2024.

The strategic planning process included community engagement through surveys, focus groups, and stakeholder meetings. A working group composed of LISD staff, operating partners, and community members provided input to help define the district's goals and priorities.

The strategic plan will serve as a roadmap to guide Longview ISD's continued transformation and the implementation of the federal Magnet School Assistance Program (MSAP) grant awarded earlier this year. 

Regular updates on the plan's development will be provided to the board, executive team, and charter partners throughout the process.

Click here to download the resolution and related documentation.

Athletic Department Report

Board members received an annual update on student achievement and success in the Athletic Department from LISD Director of Athletics Coach John King.

Coach King reported growth across several key sports for the 2023-24 school year. Boys basketball participation increased to 348 students, up from 303 the prior year. The district's track and cross-country programs also saw rising numbers, with 398 boys and 256 girls participating, both increases over the previous season. While baseball saw a slight dip to 44 participants, the girls basketball program rebounded to 237 students, up from 199 the year before. 

Overall, the athletic department highlighted numerous accomplishments and growth opportunities for Longview students, and a continued upward trend of participation across multiple sports. 

Superintendent's Report

During the Superintendent's Report, Dr. James Wilcox invited Assistant Superintendent Dr. Wayne Guidry to present an update on the 2024 bond project timelines spanning 36 months. The timeline includes site master-planning for the individual projects and is divided into three phases: design, bidding, and construction.

Dr. Guidry explained that, at this point, "We are focusing on the design and bidding portions of this timeline."

"It is premature to give an accurate timeline of construction," he said. "We will update the construction timeline with more confidence once we have selected a construction company."    

Dr. Wilcox then informed trustees about a potential partnership with Tyler-based Mentoring Alliance to provide after-school and summer programming for district students. He said the matter could appear on a future agenda if desired.

The superintendent also relayed a request from Wellness Pointe CEO Mr. Chad Jones to consider expanding services for other Longview ISD campuses, noting it too could be considered at a future meeting.

District Donations

Board members unanimously approved the following donations:

  • $855.40 from Hudson PEP Elementary PTO to provide buses for the Fouth-Grade Field Trip to Sci-Port;
  • $400 from Thrive Longview in support of the Special Programs Track & Field Day;
  • $100 from an anonymous donor to support the LHS Beekeeping program; and
  • $38 from Bucket of Longview to support Longview FFA programs and activities.

In other business...

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

  • APPROVED the purchase of three vehicles for the district's Transportation department, not to exceed a total cost of $128,000. The vehicle acquisitions included a 2023 Ford Transit 15-passenger van for under $70,000 and two 2024 Chevrolet Equinox LS models at $29,000 each. The new vehicles are earmarked to transport students and staff to events, reducing the need to utilize full-size buses or rely on third-party rentals for smaller transport needs;
  • APPROVED the Minutes and Time Use Tracker for the May 13 Regular Meeting, the May 14 Special Meeting, the May 15 Special Meeting, the May 20 Special Meeting, the May 21 Special Meeting, and the May 30 Special Meeting;
  • TABLED a resolution to consider an Energy Savings Performance Contract with Schneider Electric;
  • TABLED a resolution to consider an architectural contract with The DLR Group;
  • ACCEPTED the financial statements as of May 2024; and
  • APPROVED Budget Amendment No. 10.

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 15, 2024.

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