Board Briefs September 15 & 20: Trustees Act in Boundaries, Bond and Tax Rate

imageThe Board of Trustees discussed Bond 2017, approved a tax rate that will save millions of dollars in interest, and heard a demographer’s report on middle school attendance areas at its September 15, 2016, Regular meeting.

Trustees approved a 2017 Citizens Bond Committee Charter during its September 20, 2016, workshop and now seeks volunteers to serve on the CBC in mid-October through mid-November.

District narrows focus on middle school attendance areas

Round Rock ISD will continue its review for middle school attendance area changes considering updates to Cedar Valley, Chisholm Trail, Deerpark, and Walsh middle schools for the 2017-2018 school year.

The District hosted its first meeting September 15, 2016, concerning the attendance area changes for middle school with the opening of Pearson Ranch Middle School in August 2017.

After evaluating its consultant’s report that accounted for safety, growth, and demographics, the District determined it will not be considering changes that impact Canyon Vista, C.D. Fulkes, Grisham, Hernandez, or Hopewell, and Ridgeview middle schools. Its focus will be on relieving overcrowding at Cedar Valley and Walsh, which could impact Chisholm Trail. It will continue to consider a change to Deerpark Middle School to align the Joe Lee Johnson STEAM and Wells Branch Arts Integration Academies. [,]

Board saves millions with tax rate approval; District earns Superior Achievement

Round Rock ISD will save millions in interest payments while maintaining its current tax rate for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. The Board of Trustees approved a $1.3325 tax rate for the 2016–2017 fiscal year at the regular meeting Thursday night. The approved rate is the same as the previous year and is comprised of $1.04 for general operating and $0.2925 for debt service.

The approved tax rate is part of the District’s efforts to continue to provide taxpayers savings over the long term, maintain the district’s tax rate as one of the lowest in the region, help reduce the district’s overall debt burden and prepare for continued growth within the district, Chief Financial Officer Randy Staats said. Through the approved tax rate, the District will be able to pay off some debt earlier than its original maturity date, saving about $5.9 million. []

Board discussed Bond 2017 and approved Citizens Bond Committee (CBC) Charter

The Board of Trustees approved a charter during its September 20, 2016, workshop that allows for the District to form a Citizens Bond Committee, which will include a focus on safety, innovation, growth, and finance. The committees will work with administrative leaders to hear reports and ask questions regarding new facilities, technology, and capital renewal and replacement.

The CBC approval comes after presentations to the Board in Innovative School Grants, which empowered schools to pilot or launch new programs at their schools through $3-$5 million in allocated funding over the next three years. Laurel Mountain Elementary shared their vision for science instruction through outdoor learning spaces, and Cedar Valley Middle School spoke to their pursuit of school-wide Google certification. [CBC Charter, Board approves next step towards Bond 2017, seeks citizens’ input, Innovative School Grants Presentation]