Burleson ISD board sets proposed tax rate change and also becomes ‘District of Innovation.’
BURLESON – The Burleson ISD Board of Trustees inched closer to the May 6 election on Monday, March 27 by determining the new tax rate that would take effect should voters approve an $85 million bond package.
With a motion by Place 2 Trustee Michael Ancy, and a second by Place 6 Trustee Beverly Volkman Powell, the board unanimously voted to raise the maintenance and operations (M&O) tax rate by 13 cents – should the bond election be successful.
“This tax rate will raise more for maintenance and operations than last year’s tax rate – I want to be clear about that,” Chief Financial Officer Brenda Mize told the board before the March 27 vote.
By approving this, district trustees set the potential M&O rate at $1.17 per $100 of tax valuation, up from the current $1.04, Mize said.
Interest and Sinking (I&S) will remain at $.50 for a total of $1.67, she added.
Mize said the tax rate would be raised 12.5 percent. On average, this will raise taxes on a $100,000 home by approximately $130.
The May 6 bond election will run on the same ballot as the special tax rate election because a tax rate above $1.04 per $100 valuation requires voter approval, officials said.
In February, the school board voted to put the $85 million bond package election on the ballot for May 6. That bond was recommended by a 60-member Facilities Advisory Committee to determine the best way to address district growth and facilities needs.
The $85 million bond package and tax ratification election would address:
• New construction of a multipurpose activity facility at BHS to improve opportunities for extracurricular activities.
• New construction of home campus to replace Kerr at Hidden Creek.
• Expansion at Hughes Middle School to accommodate students and address capacity in the fine arts and athletic areas. Renovations would be comparable to the STEAM Middle School.
• New collaborative learning spaces at BHS.
• Repurposing Kerr from a home campus, renovating only those portions that are financially responsible, as funds are available and as the district deems necessary.
In other business, school board members unanimously passed a resolution officials say will give BISD greater local control and exempt it from a number of state statutes.
A news release provided by the district states that the effective District of Innovation created by the board will better serve the education needs of students.
A District Education Improvement Council (DEIC), composed of students, parents, teachers and others in the community, developed the District of Innovation plan to enhance school choice options and provide flexibility for the following:
• First day of instruction will begin prior to the fourth Monday of August to allow for a more balanced fall and spring semester.
• Alignment with college semesters to accommodate students taking courses during the summer.
• More instructional time before STAAR/EOC/AP exams.
• Additional training and support time for teachers.
• Flexibility for student course credits earned for content mastery.
• Hiring the most qualified professionals with specialized experience in fields related to courses offered, such as engineering, robotics, health sciences, video game design, music, culinary arts and more.
Changes approved at the meeting were incorporated into the 2017-18 school year calendar.