The Woodlands Edition | October 2020

EDUCATION BRIEFS

News from Conroe ISD & Lone Star College System

Conroe ISD trustees approve FY 2020-21 tax rate

BY BEN THOMPSON

spending approved through its FY 2020-21 budget in August. The board previously approved 3% cost- of-living raises for employees. While the tax rate itself decreased year over year, CISD Chief Financial Officer Darrin Rice previously noted the district’s certified property values increased by more than 5.7% since last year, meaning some homeowners with higher valuations may pay more in taxes this tax year. According to the district, certified values in CISD have increased by an average of 7.14% annually since 2010.

FY 2020-21 tax rate: $1.2125 per $100 valuation TAX RATE The approved Conroe ISD fiscal year 2020-21 tax rate is a 1.42% decrease over the district’s current rate.

CONROE ISD The fiscal year 2020-21 tax rate in Conroe ISD, which represents a 1.42% decrease from the district’s current rate of $1.23 per $100 valuation, was unanimously approved by the board of trustees during its regular meeting Sept. 15. The approved rate of $1.2125 per $100 of valuation consists of $0.9525 for maintenance and operations and $0.26 for debt service, as calculated by the Texas Education Agency. The tax rate will support the district’s bud- geted $576.99 million in general fund

Decrease from FY 2019-20 tax rate:

1.42%

Certified property value increase for all property in the district since FY 2019-20: 5.7%

SOURCE: CONROE ISD/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Remote learning plan set in Conroe ISD

The Conroe ISD board of trustees meets at 6 p.m. Oct. 20 at 3205 W. Davis St., Conroe. 936-709-7752. www.conroeisd.net The Magnolia ISD board of trustees meets at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at 31141 Nichols Sawmill Road, Magnolia. 281-356-3571. www.magnoliaisd.org The Tomball ISD board of trustees meets at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 10 at 310 S. Cherry St., Tomball. 281-357-3100. www.tomballisd.net Meetings may be held by videoconference. MEETINGSWE COVER have online school. Without approv- ing this plan, we would be contacting 20,000 families saying, ‘You now have to return face to face whether you want to or not,’” Null said. “They’ve never allowed us to have online education in the past, and there is no mechanism for them to allow us to have it in the future. This is a one-year-only proposition.” PLAN IN PLACE Conroe ISD finalized its remote learning plan for the school year on Sept. 15, including: • live, real-time classes available when desired • self-paced lessons • preassigned and after-hours work available SOURCE: CONROE ISD/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

BY BEN THOMPSON

work based on student preferences, Hines said. The plan was developed by a team of more than a dozen district staff members and focuses on four com- ponents aimed at meeting the TEA’s requirements: the new instructional schedule, design of materials, stu- dent progress and implementation. After presentations by Hines and Jeff Fuller, the district’s director of school improvement and leadership transformation, Superintendent Curtis Null also noted the necessity of the temporary plan for the district’s finances and operations in supporting the nearly one-third of CISD students enrolled remotely this fall. “It’s for funding purposes, but really what it is, is it’s to allow us to

CONROE ISD The remote learning instructional plan for the 2020-21 school year received the Conroe ISD board’s approval at its Sept. 15 meeting. The plan is a new require- ment mandated by the Texas Educa- tion Agency this year for districts to receive a waiver for full funding based on average daily attendance while allowing portions of the student body to remain remote. Deputy Superintendent Chris Hines said the district opted for its chosen model for remote learners to allow for additional flexibility. Additional adaptability includes options for periods of live, synchronous class when desired in addition to self-paced lessons and preassigned or after-hours

Lone Star College plans for stable tax rate

BY ANDREW CHRISTMAN

said. “We have held it pretty flat at $0.1078 for several years now.” LSCS has maintained the same tax rate since fiscal year 2016-17, when the tax rate was $0.1079. Mott said local property tax revenue is the largest revenue source for the college and is set to make up around 46% of the FY 2020-21 budget’s total revenue. The college’s adopted budget shows a decrease of around $14.6 million from FY 2019-20, which factors in a decrease in student enrollment and additional expenses related to the coronavirus pandemic.

LONE STAR COLLEGE SYSTEM The Lone Star College System board of trustees held its first public hearing Oct. 1 for a proposed fiscal year 2020-21 property tax rate of $0.1078 per $100 valuation, the same tax rate it has had for the past four fiscal years. LSCS Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Mott said the college built a 6% growth rate in appraisals into the FY 2020-21 budget, which factors into keeping the tax rate the same. “In a 15-year history of the tax rate, Lone Star College has consistently been below the state average,” Mott

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THE WOODLANDS EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

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