The proposed Brenham ISD budget and tax rate were presented at a public hearing during the regular board meeting Monday evening. The 43 million dollar budget is 6.2 percent higher than last years. Most of that increase coming from the 4 percent raise that district employees received in June. Property values went up an average of 5.6 percent this year and that has allowed the district to propose reducing the total tax rate by one cent. The debt service rate was reduced by one cent to $0.085 while the maintenance and operations rate remained the same at $1.04 per $100 valuation. No one spoke during the public hearing and the board voted to adopt both the budget and the tax rate.
In other action, the board received a number of reports. Mark Strauss, Director of Assessment and Accountability updated the board on how the campuses performed this past year. He explained that not only did all of the campuses meet the state standard, but that they received 14 distinction designations compared to just 3 in 2016.
Lori Wamble, Director of Special Programs updated the board on the Bilingual and ESL programs. She explained that these students score significantly lower on the state STARR exams and described areas that the district will focus on during this school year. Superintendent Dr. Walter Jackson noted that this group is the fastest growing in our district as well as across the state.
Assistant Superintendent Jamey Johnson updated the board on the summer school program. She stated that 89 students took part in the program over the summer and that 86 were promoted the next grade.
Assistant Superintendent Paul Aschenbeck gave a brief update on the just completed special session of the state legislature. He reported that no additional revenue will be coming to the district as a result of the session.
Steve Skrla, Director of Student Services reported on PRIDE Academy and it’s Flexible School Day Program. Most of PRIDE Academy’s students are at risk of dropping out and cannot spend a full day in class due to jobs or family situations. He praised Administrator Allen Colvin for working with these students one on one to help them graduate.
The board also accepted a total of $6800 in local donations to go towards the new Early Childhood Learning Center. That school opened last week on the old Alton Elementary location and consolidates all of the districts pre-K students on one campus.