The Burnet Consolidated Independent School District board of trustees has canceled the Nov. 3 bond election over COVID-19 concerns.
“Due to the many uncertainties that still exist related to COVID-19 for our community and Burnet CISD, the board of trustees and the administration feel canceling the bond election for now is the appropriate decision,” said BCISD Superintendent Keith McBurnett. “This upcoming school year will be like no other any of us have ever experienced, and all of our energies and resources will be focused on how to keep our students and staff safe while providing access to quality instruction for students either in-person or remotely.”
The board made the decision during its July 27 meeting.
The district had called for two bond propositions to take before voters in November. Proposition A was for $23.9 million and addressed projects related to student numbers, learning environments, infrastructure, and safety and security. It would have funded expansion of Bertram Elementary School to accommodate current and anticipated growth.
Proposition B was for $5.76 million and focused on improvements to athletic facilities at the high school and middle school.
The bond election was initially scheduled for May 2 but was moved to Nov. 3 after Gov. Greg Abbott allowed school districts and municipalities to do so in response to COVID-19.
The BCISD board elections for places 3 and 7 are still on the Nov. 3 ballot.
McBurnett said the board and administration remain committed to planning for the future and addressing student growth and needs.
During the same meeting, the board approved a proposed property tax rate of $1.1714 per $100 valuation for the district’s 2020-21 fiscal year. The board is scheduled to hold a budget hearing during its Aug. 31 meeting, when it could adopt the budget and tax rate.
The proposed rate is 1.36 cents lower than the 2019-20 rate, but, officials said, depending on final school finance information from the Texas Education Agency scheduled to be released in mid-August, the board could adopt an even lower rate.
The board also officially set the first day of class for the 2020-21 school year to Thursday, Aug. 20. Trustees discussed it in a previous meeting with district administration recommending pushing the date back a few days from Aug. 17 to give teachers and staff additional preparation time. The district is offering both in-person and remote learning options for students.
BCISD is also purchasing face shields for each student as well as face shields with clear eye glasses for each staff member.
In other business, the board recognized BCISD bus driver Bridget Hale. Property Casualty Alliance of Texas named her the Texas Bus Driver of the Year. PCAT is a risk-management company that works with more than 130 Texas school districts.
The board also honored Martelle Luedecke of Luedecke Photography for being named to the Texas Association of School Boards Media Honor Roll.
“Martelle is always present when our students are performing, and she does a great job of capturing the action in her photographs,” McBurnett stated in a letter to BCISD staff. “She is also very generous in sharing her photographs with the District and community.”