Breckenridge Texan

BISD approves tax rate change, sets election, approves decorating travel buses

BISD approves tax rate change, sets election, approves decorating travel buses
July 12
12:32 2018

During their meeting on Monday night, the Breckenridge Independent School District Board of Trustees approved a new tax structure and set the date for an election for voters to ratify the new rate. They also accepted a donation from the All Sports Booster Club to pay for having two of the district’s travel buses wrapped in Buckaroo spirit designs.

Following a Public Hearing Monday night on the tax rate change, trustees voted in their regular meeting to change the tax rate to make the school district eligible for additional funds from the State of Texas, which could add as much as $270,000 to the BISD coffers. However, BISD is only eligible for the additional funds if the Maintenance and Operations tax rate is at least $1.17, according to Tim Seymore BISD Superintendent.

The current BISD M&O is $1.04. However, when it is combined with the school district’s Interest and Sinking tax, the total school tax rate that local property owners pay is almost $1.17 ($1.1685) per $100 property valuation.

The plan approved by the trustees at Monday’s meeting sets a 2018-2019 tax rate that raises the district’s M&O tax from $1.04 to $1.17 and then lowers the district’s Interest and Sinking tax from $0.13 to $0.00, keeping the total rate the same at $1.17.

However, the school district is not allowed by law to raise the M&O tax above the current $1.04 rate without approval from local voters. Therefore, at Monday’s meeting, trustees also scheduled a Tax Ratification Election for Aug. 25, officially requesting permission from local taxpayers to raise the M&O tax rate to $1.17.

If voters approve the proposal by the local school board, BISD could receive additional funds without having to raise taxes since the total combined tax rate of the M&O and I&S would continue to be a total of $1.17 per $100 valuation. The difference, according to Seymore, is that if the M&O rate is raised to $1.17, BISD will qualify for the additional $270,000 from the State.

Voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 25 at the BISD Administration Office, 208 N. Miller St. Early voting will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, Aug. 8-21, at the BISD Administration Office.

Following the election, BISD will hold a public hearing on the 2018-2019 budget, at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, in the BISD Board of Trustees Meeting Room, 208 N. Miller St. Then, at 6:30 p.m. that night, they will hold a Board Of Trustees meeting to adopt the 2018-2019 budget.

For a more detailed explanation about how the plan will work, click here to read the Breckenridge Texan article “Change to BISD tax rate structure could bring in more revenue without raising taxes.” Also, click here to see the BISD online video that gives a simplified explanation on how the process will work.

Trustees approve school bus spirit wraps

Jimmy McKay, with the All Sports Booster Club, addresses the BISD Board of Trustees Monday night about the club’s donation to get two BISD travel buses wrapped. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Trustees also voted to accept a $12,000 donation from the All Sports Booster Club and use the money to get two of the district’s travel school buses wrapped. The buses, which are used to transport students to out-of-town school events and games, will be wrapped in a Buckaroo spirit design with the school’s mascot.

The board accepted the donation and approved the purchase following a lengthy discussion between board members on how the buses will be used, whether two buses should be wrapped or just one, and whether BISD should agree to the proposed contract terms for the service.

Under the proposed contract presented at the meeting, Showtime Signs and Designs in Abilene, who will wrap the buses, required the total amount of the work be paid for up front before the job could be started. Trustees however, agreed to approve the purchase only if Showtime Signs and Designs would agree to accept 75 percent of the payment up front and the remaining 25 percent payment upon completion of the job.

According to an email from BISD Superintendent Tim Seymore on Wednesday, the company agreed to the payment change and the project will go forward.

Seymore said once the buses are wrapped, they will no longer be able to be used for regular bus routes. According to Texas law, school buses used on regular bus routes must be painted National School Bus Yellow. Seymore said that when a bus is wrapped, the district is required to remove the stop sign from the bus and disable the flasher system that is used for unloading students on regular bus routes.

“Once you wrap it, you can’t run a route in it,” Seymore said. “If you wrap the bus, you have to take stop signs off and deactivate the flashers.”

This artist’s rendition, provided by Showtime Signs and Designs in Abilene, shows what the Buckaroo spirit wrap will look like on the two BISD travel buses.  (Courtesy photo)

New Secondary Director of Learning and District Testing Coordinator hired
Trustees also approved the hiring of Samuel Perry as Secondary Director of Learning and Allison Young as District Testing Coordinator/ALC-DAEP Director.

Samuel Perry is the new BISD  Secondary Director of Learning. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Perry was the Social Studies Instructional Facilitator at Carrollton Creekview High School. He was the school’s varsity football-defensive line coach from 2013-2016. He has a Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Lamar University and a Bachelor of Arts in history from Sam Houston State University. He will replace Paul Armstrong, who resigned to take a job as curriculum director with Kermit ISD.

Young was the high school counselor at Olney High School and has a Master of Science in Agricultural Education from Tarleton State University and a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Services and Development with a teacher certification from Tarleton State University. She will replace Karen Lawson, who is moving to Lubbock.

Approved Athletic Services Contract and modified school calendar
In other business, trustees approved a contract for Bill Pearce to continue providing athletic training services to the district for the 2018-2019 school-year. Pearce has been contracted to do the athletic training services for the last several years.

Trustees also amended the school calendar to remove two early release days, Dec. 21 and May 23, from the school calendar that was approved at the board meeting in April. According the board supplement to the regular agenda, the Texas Education Agency no longer allows a waiver for counting an early release day as a whole day. And, since the district does not get credit for a full day’s worth of minutes in the new system, they chose to eliminate early release days rather than add additional days in the school year to get the required minutes.

Report of resignations
Trustees also received a report of employee resignations. Those who recently resigned are: Tanya Eddleman, South Elementary teacher, effective June 14; Chelsea Bond, East Elementary teacher, effective June 18; Stacey Johnson, Breckenridge High School teacher, effective June 18; Weston Bond, BHS teacher, effective June 19; Karen Lawson, Director of ALC and DAEP, effective July 3; Paul Armstrong, Secondary Director of Learning, effective June 30; Kaysi Adams, Breckenridge Junior High School teacher, effective June 27; Terrye Smith, BHS teacher, effective June 27, and  Mayra Razo, North Elementary teacher, effective July 3.


Story by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: Tim Seymore BISD Superintendent (center) discusses the district’s proposed tax rate change with BISD Board of Trustees President Jeff Dooley (left) and trustee Pat Escalon during a public hearing on Monday night. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

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