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BCISD sets legislative priorities for upcoming session

Burnet students of the month for December 2022

Burnet High School Principal Casey Burkhart (left) and Science Department Chair Jeannette Gegogeine (right) with Burnet High School students of the month for December Elijah Tait and Karlie Buckley. Courtesy photo

Opposing any proposed voucher systems for school finance is one of three legislative priorities of the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District’s Board of Trustees. While fighting the use of taxpayer money for private or home schools, the board will be supporting initiatives to combat the statewide teacher shortage and raise the per-pupil funding in the state to the national average, according to a BCISD media release.

The 88th session of the Texas Legislature begins Jan. 10, 2023, and ends May 23, 2023. Bills are already being filed in anticipation of the session, which only happens in odd-numbered years. BCISD officials will use the priorities as talking points when meeting with anyone involved with public policy, Superintendent Keith McBurnett said.

“Sometimes, the work of legislators seems so far removed from our everyday lives, but the reality is the decisions made in Austin during the upcoming January-May timeframe impacts all of us,” he explained further in a statement after the board meeting Monday, Dec. 12. 

National Merit Scholarship semifinalist Claire Teague and Burnet Principal Casey Burkhart
National Merit Scholarship semifinalist Claire Teague, a Burnet High School senior, was honored for an outstanding performance on the Preliminary SAT, scoring in the top 50,000 out of 1.5 million applicants. Burnet High School Principal Casey Burkhart presented her award at the school board meeting Dec. 12. Courtesy photo

According to the statement, BCISD will be “opposing any state plan that would use vouchers, tax credits, taxpayer savings grants, tuition reimbursements, or any other means to divert public tax dollars to private entities, homeschooled students, or parents, with little or no academic or financial accountability or transparency to the state, taxpayers, or local communities.”

The board meeting included a public hearing for the annual financial and compliance report for 2021-22, conducted by the Eide Bailly audit firm. BCISD received an “unmodified opinion,” which is the highest opinion possible. 

Allie Hampton was chosen as interim principal at Quest High School for the spring semester. She will replace Douglas Marvin, who is leaving to become superintendent/principal for Hallsburg ISD in Waco. 

Burnet High School College Board students
Burnet High School Principal Casey Burkhart presents certificates to Burnet High School students Aedan McLennan, Claire Teague, and Meredith Kizziar-Wright for earning the distinction of College Board Rural and Small Town Recognition Program scholars. The program is based on academic achievements and outstanding performance on the PSAT and/or AP Exams. Courtesy photo

IN OTHER ACTION

The board nominated Cary Johnson to fill an open seat on the Burnet Central Appraisal District Board of Board of Directors. 

Also, special recognition was given to: 

  • Elijah Tait and Karlie Buckley, Burnet High School students of the month for December; 
  • Christmas Card design winners from Shady Grove Elementary, Lorelei Ingram, Addie Ringstaff, and Mia Clinton, who were first, second, and third, respectively; 
  • National Merit Scholarship semifinalist Claire Teague, a Burnt High School senior, for an outstanding performance on the Preliminary SAT, scoring in the top 50,000 out of 1.5 million applicants;
  • Burnet High School students Aedan McLennan, Claire Teague, and Meredith Kizziar-Wright for earning the distinction of College Board Rural and Small Town Recognition Program scholars, which is based on their remarkable academic achievements and outstanding performance on the PSAT and/or AP Exams;
  • and the Esprit de Corps for qualifying for the third straight time in a row for the UIL state marching contest, held in San Antonio on Nov. 9, and for finishing 12th overall out of more than 200 Class 4A bands in Texas.

Also honored were Burnet High School seniors named to the Texas High School Coaches Association Academic All-State Team, which recognizes high school athletes who excel in the following categories: grade-point average, class rank and ACT/SAT score. On the second team were Harlynn Roberts, Lainey Rye, McKenzie Davis, and Sadie Campbell. Honorable mentions were Addie Grace Hernandez and Samantha Gaylord. 

editor@thepicayune.com