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PISD Board has report-heavy meeting Monday

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The Pampa Independent School District Board of Trustees held a regularly-scheduled meeting on Monday evening. 

The meeting was report-heavy and started with the budget workshop.

Pampa ISD Superintendent Dr. Tanya Larkin said Chief Financial Officer Todd Hubbart reviewed where the District stands with enrollment, daily attendance and how to develop revenue projections.

“It’s hard to do because there are a lot of moving parts, plus legislation is in session,” Dr. Larkin said. “A lot of what they do may affect how revenue is generated in schools. We also shared with them the budget process and a lot of the expenditures we’re anticipating for next year.”

The Board must approve a proposed budget with an anticipated tax rate by July 1 and after the certified values come in by August, the tax rate must be approved. While it wasn’t covered at the Board meeting, Dr. Larkin said there will be some pennies from the interest/sinking part of the tax rate to the maintenance/operations part.

“We’re looking at moving a couple of pennies from the I&S side (we were able to re-finance some loans and save $3 million) to the M&O side to go after the two final golden pennies that generate more revenue from the State without making the tax-payers pay any more,” Dr. Larkin said. “That will go to a tax election in November. It doesn’t raise the rate, it’s just transparency letting people know we are moving pennies from one side to the other.”

The Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Abby Hancock, gave an update on data received from Engage to Learn regarding the instructional coaching program.

“She discussed our best practices for blended learning,” Dr. Larkin said. “Our educator growth and the areas they grew in, some of the coaching standards and the coaching badges earned by our staff, as well as some bright spots and celebrations.”

Dr. Larkin said the impact of Covid was shown in the student academic performance mid-year progress report.

“They missed several months last spring and this year has been disrupted with online learning, quarantining and Covid,” Dr. Larkin said. “This isn’t unique to Pampa, but it was an opportunity to look at our benchmark data, which let’s us know where we’re at moving in the curriculum.”

The data also allows Pampa to see where they stand compared to national average. 

“We were able to see where we are behind, and how far behind we are,” Dr. Larkin said. “It’s not where we are behind compared to other people, it’s where we would have been through the curriculum and the success rate had Covid not happened.”

Dr. Larkin added there were some bright spots where they are ahead, plus some areas where it wasn’t “near as bad as anticipated” and others that were concerning.

It’s important to note that the STAAR Test is not going to count against students, schools or the District and is simply a “litmus test” to see where students stand, a year removed from the pandemic.

As for the COVID-19 update, Dr. Larkin said the District has zero active cases (as of Monday night) and less than 10 students in quarantine.

In the enrollment report, Dr. Larkin said the District is down 160 students from last year. Many of the students not enrolled are in pre-kindergarten, which has seen a decline across the nation.

The Board members each exceeded their required amount of training and was noted in the PISD Board training report. 

The Board also approved the following in the consent agenda:

• Board minutes: March 22, 2021 and March 29, 2021

• Sale of delinquent tax property

• Financial reports

• Quarterly financial reports

• Financial signature cards

• Depository contract

• 2020-2021 Pampa ISD Compensation Plan

• Instructional Materials Allotment TEKS Certification

• Adoption and purchase of Pre-K curriculum

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