FISD approves lower tax rate and saving $2.8 million

During its regular Sep. 05, 2019 meeting, the Forney Independent School District Board met and accepted $13k in donations, recognized State-level athletic students, awarded Coach Weaver, held tax-rate hearing, approved early bond payment.

  • Invocation by Chris Allen, Pastor at First United Methodist Church of Forney
  • U. S. Flag - Secondary Student-of-the-Month, MaKayla Peek, 8th Grade Student at Warren Middle School
        Mr. Josh Garcia, Principal at Warren Middle School said she is a very busy student, with sports, student council, and math.
  • Texas Pledge - Elementary Student-of-the-Month, Sydney Pollard, 4th Grade Student at Lewis Elementary
        Ms. Jenny Harstrom, Principal at Lewis Elementary said she helps other students, even while waiting for the bus.
  • Accepted Donation of $13,000 from the Touchdown Booster Club for a Football Sled
        Mr. Neal Weaver, Director of Athletics introduced 3 members from Touchdown Club Donnie & Janet Anderson, and Jennifer Stevens.
  • Accepted Donation of $13,816.23 to the Music, Art and PE Departments for Playground Improvements, Field Trip and Transportation Expenses to Criswell Elementary.
        Ms. Rachel Bonner, Principal at Criswell Elementary stated the Criswell Elementary PTO was making the donation.
  • Accepted $5000.00 by Forney Education Foundation to the STEAMfest event.
        Ms. Kristin Zastoupil, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications Marketing and Communications Department presented.
  • North Forney High School Softball Academic All-State and Forney High School Softball Academic All-State:
        Mr. Neal Weaver, Director of Athletics, introduced Savannah Gunn, mentioned others not present: Alyssa Gaidos, Riley Borton, Caleigh Cross, Lexi Brown.
  • Forney High School Softball Team - State Qualifier
        Mr. Weaver introduced Trinity Cannon.
  • Forney High School Softball State All-Tournament Team
        Mr. Weaver introduced the entire team.   He then introduced Mr. Cody Craig from Rep. Bell's office who recited House Resolution 1224.
  • FHS & NFHS Texas State Solo & Ensemble Contest - Mr. Mario Luna, Director of Fine Arts
  • Citizen of Girls State
        Ms. Kristin Zastoupil, Executive Director of Communication and Marketing, stated the American Legion Auxiliary sponsored NFHS Emily Fulton.
  • Presented Community Impact Award to Coach Weaver - Mr. Rick Geer, Chief of Human Services said PCA gave the award, stating "when it comes to sports done right, few organizations do it better than Forney ISD." He also stated that "due to the leadership and Vision of ... Neal Weaver, FISD was recognized for their powerful investments into using sports as a way to teach life lessons at every level."
  • Public Comment - none.
  • Monthly Financial Report - Mr. John Chase, Chief Financial Officer, said this is the first month of fiscal year.   State aid payment is reported in previous year.
  • Master Planning Update - Ms. Kim Morisak, Chief of Information, Innovative and Technology Services said all campuses opened on time, introduced Von Gallagher who said it was a collective effort, district was fantastic to deal with.   Smith and Rhae went well.   Had issued acquiring materials for Crosby, Lewis, Blackburn and Henderson, but worked it out.   Those projects are staggered by 3 weeks, in order: Lewis, Blackburn, Crosby, Henderson.   Criswell and Johnson renovations are complete.   Lot of plumbing work at Johnson.
  • Enrollment Update - Ms. Morisak said predicted enrollment of 11888, new projection 11954, currently 11808, trending same as last year.   Dr. Terry said will get fall update from Templeton.
  • Smart Tag Bus Monitoring Report - Mr. Rick Geer, Chief of Human Services said to increase safety and efficiency, looking at smart tags, using RFID connecting to a tablet.   streamlines driver paperwork.   Helps substitute drivers to be aware of stops.   The RFID chip is not trackable, no student data is recorded on the card.   This will alert drivers when students get on wrong bus, or get off at wrong stop.   Parents may use an app to monitor student position.   Mr. Geer said will help with parents calling to see where their child is.   Students will be allowed to manually check in 2 or 3 times before being required to purchase a new card.   This product was created by a bus driver.   There is National shortage of drivers, FISD is a little below average pay.   Dr. Terry said safety is #1 priority, excited about exploring this over next few months.
  • Approved as one consent item:
    • Budget Amendment
    • Renewal of Current District of Innovation Committee Members
    • Request for Maximum Class Size Waiver Exemption
    • Resolution for Extracurricular Status of 4-H Organization
    • IStation Renewal
    • Region 7 Interlocal Agreement
    • Purchase of Three School Resource Officer Vehicles
    • Revised Bus Driver Pay Scale
    • a Purchasing Cooperative to Award a Re-roof Finish out Contract for Criswell Elementary and Grant Superintendent Authority to Negotiate the Contract.

  • Held a Public Hearing for the 2019-2020 Tax Rate
        Mr. Chase reviewed the process leading to published proposed tax rate of 1.47, a 7 cent reduction due to TX House bill.   Property values have increased 16% per year for 4 years: average value went from 171k to 259k, appraisal cap has effect on rate rendering the average value of 223k.   Average $97 increase per home.   Area ISD's range from 1.29 to 1.58.   Dr. Terry said continue to see value growth in the district, excited to bring a decrease.
        There was no public input.
  • Approved the resolution for early redemption of bonds.
        Mr. Chase said rate will generate more funds than needed to pay 2020 bond payments.   Over last several years have redeemed callable bonds, to bring debt service down to allow building new facilities.   Limited to 50-cent (I&S) rate.   This will save $2.8 million in interest.   If Nov. election bond passes, could use these funds to pay for those bonds.   Dr. Terry said this is an exciting annual event, over 5 years have paid down $23 million in principle and $22 million interest saved.
  • Approved adoption of the 2019-2020 tax rate
        Mr. Chase said the calculated effective rate is 8% increase, state requires the motion to state that.   Dr. Terry pointed out if the bond is successful, the rate would remain the same.
  • Approved the ratification of employment of professional contract personnel as recommended.
  • Announcements:
    Monday, September 9 - College Fair @ NFHS @ 6:00 PM
    Friday, September 13 - UNITY BOWL @ 7:30 PM
    Thursday, September 19 - Saturday, September 21 - TASA/TASB Convention, Dallas, Texas
    Friday, September 20 - FHS Homecoming Game @ 7:30 PM
    Saturday, September 21 - FHS Homecoming Parade @ 9:00 AM
    Saturday, October 5 - FEF Casino Night @ 7:00 PM
    Monday, October 7 - Regular School Board Meeting @ 6:00 PM
  • Adjourned at 2012
Thursday, 2019, September 5