Burnet CISD board has new president
For the first time in 18 years, the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees will have a board president other than Andy Feild, who stepped down due to illness.
“Mr. Feild is continuing his cancer treatments and hopes to return to participating in board meetings as a board member in the future,” Superintendent Keith McBurnett stated in a media release.
Trustees elected Earl Foster as their new president during their regular meeting on Monday, May 15. Angela Moore will serve as vice president and Mark Kincaid, who was just re-elected, will be secretary.
During the meeting, the board approved the hiring of Kristi Carruthers as the new principal at Quest High School. She is returning home to Burnet after spending the past two school years as the assistant principal/academic dean for a newly opened middle school in the Kerrville ISD.
“During her previous 22 years in BCISD, she demonstrated passion for student achievement and deep caring for staff as a teacher-leader, campus administrator, and district coordinator in Special Programs,” McBurnett said.
The superintendent also told the board that a pending school finance bill in the Texas Legislature remains a concern for the district. Teacher pay increases are linked to legislative action on the measure.
“We are continuing to monitor closely the legislative session, which will conclude on May 29,” he said. “Unfortunately, proposed school finance legislation still does not include significant increases in funding for Burnet CISD. I was hopeful that the Legislature would approve substantial across-the-board pay raises for teachers, especially given the historic budget surplus, but some of the most ambitious proposals never made it out of committee.”
In the media release, he said the board and district administration arecommitted to raising pay for staff but did not know at what level.
“We hope the picture becomes clearer and improves significantly over the next two weeks,” he said.
Because of the projected uncertainty, the board moved its budget workshop to June 12.
IN OTHER BUSINESS
Trustees reviewed school safety and security items, which despite state grants will still cost BCISD considerable money because of increased costs.
One grant that requires the district to add classroom panic alarms to give first responders quick and easy access to all campuses falls short by $20,000. The board voted to use money from the district’s fund balance to make up the difference.
Another grant requires all campuses have guaranteed emergency radio coverage, which will cost $550,000 for a Public Safety Radio Coverage Enhancement system. The grant is for $300,000, leaving a $250,000 gap. The board approved the purchase using funds from the 2021 bond for technology.
Bond money was also allocated to pay for the renovation of the current weight room, soon to be the Burnet Middle School weight room. Work will begin immediately following the opening of the new weight room at the Student Activity Center.
Final paving projects around the district were approved, including around Bulldog Stadium and the new walking tracks at Shady Grove and R.J. Richey elementary schools.
About 500 new Chromebooks will be purchased using money from the 2020 Maintenance Tax Note.
The next regular board meeting is 6 p.m. Monday, June 26.