BOARD WORK SESSION, APRIL 6, 2004
April 6, 2004
AUSTIN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT
Carruth Administration Center
WORK SESSION APRIL 6, 2004
Presiding Officer President Doyle A. Valdez
On this the 6th day of April 2004, at 6:00 p.m., the Board of Trustees of the Austin Independent School District convened in the Carruth Administration Center Auditorium, 1111 West 6th Street, Austin, Texas, and announced that it would convene in Executive Session under the provisions of Chapter 551 (Open Meetings), Sections 551.074 and 551.071. The following members were present, to wit: Cheryl Bradley (arrived at 8:15 p.m.), Johna Edwards, John Fitzpatrick (arriving at 6:11 p.m.), Robert Schneider, Ingrid Taylor, Doyle Valdez, Ave Wahrmund, and Patricia Whiteside. The following member was absent, to wit: Rudy Montoya, Jr.
President Valdez called the meeting to order at 6:07 p.m.
The Board found and determined that, in accordance with the policies and Order of this Board and with Chapter 551 (Open Meetings) of the Texas Government Code, as amended, the notice of the meeting has been properly complied with, including the posting of notice as to time, date, place of the meeting, and the subjects to be discussed at said meeting.
President Valdez called the Executive Session to order at 6:10 p.m. to deliberate the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline, or dismissal of a public officer or employee, and to consult with legal counsel regarding pending or contemplated litigation or on a matter which the school district’s legal counsel determines should be confidential. The Board adjourned the Executive Session at 7:07 p.m.
President Valdez reconvened the meeting at 7:17 p.m.
Ingrid Taylor made a motion that the Board of Trustees approves the Agenda. Robert Schneider seconded the motion.
The motion passed unanimously.
Bond Work Session
Dr. Pat Forgione, Superintendent, expressed appreciation to the members of the Citizen’s Bond Advisory Committee (CBAC) for their commitment to the charge and presenting the final report to the Board on March 29, 2004.
Questions from Board Members on the Report of the Citizens’ 2004 Bond Advisory Committee
Paul Turner, Director of Bond Development and Execution; along with Dennis Harner, demographer with Dennis Harner & Associates; Dan Robertson, Director of Planning Services; Curt Shaw, Director of Construction Management; and Larry Throm, Chief Financial Officer reviewed each section of the CBAC Report:
Section 1: Executive Summary
Section 2: Recommendations
a. Safety and Security
b. Academic Enhancement
c. Buildings and Infrastructure
d. Relief for Overcrowded Schools
• Demographic Information Presented to the
2004 Citizens’ Bond Advisory Committee
e. Districtwide Facilities
Section 3: Tax and Financial Information
Section 4: Leveraging Our Investment
Section 5: Collateral Issues
Section 6: Management of the Bond Program
Section 7: Proposed Bond Propositions
Section 8: Issues Raised at CBAC Public Forums
Section 9: Appendices
Board discussion related to Section 2, Recommendations, included the following: the definition of overcrowded schools is 125% of capacity; the overcrowded elementary schools are addressed beginning at 110%; the incremental action to give relief for overcrowded schools; the pressures and issues related to environmental concerns in the 1996 bond; current environmental concerns related to busing students to surrounding neighborhoods; the accuracy of the 1996 projections by staff and consultants; the importance of basing the bond on need and projections not a response to the loudest community; the planned housing developments in southwest Austin; and the urban district phenomenon of losing students at fifth grade and tenth grade.
Dan Robertson reviewed information provided to compare the estimates made in the 1996 Bond Report with the actual enrollment in the selected relief schools for the target year of 2000-01. Mr. Robertson reviewed the overcrowded situations, pre-relief projections, post-relief projection and actual enrollments.
Robert Schneider requested that the 2003-2004 actual enrollment be added to the tables to review how the curve changed between 2000-01 to the current school year. Mr. Schneider also requested that staff provide the number of students that are bussed from south Austin to north Austin (north of the River) and to which schools (not including magnet schools).
John Fitzpatrick asked that the Board consider following four components that were captured in the 1996 Bond Program that can be emulated in the proposed 2004 bond:
• Strong data and projections by staff and Dennis Harner,
• Hard working and thoughtful CBAC,
• Schedule public hearings as soon as possible to give citizens an opportunity to give feedback,
• Thoughtful synthesis by the Board in terms of adding sites based on review of all information.
Mr. Fitzpatrick also requested that staff have the projection data and CBAC proposal available for the community on the AISD website.
Dan Robertson noted that he would provide a summary sheet with a review of the Bond Committee process related to new school recommendations.
(Cheryl Bradley arrived at 8:15 p.m.)
Dennis Harner reviewed the process for completing the report last spring and updating the information and to reflect on what changes may affect the bond program; including the grade to grade enrollment change for the last five years; the in and our migration by grade; the out migration is more concentrated in certain parts of town and requires adjustment of the enrollment projections; the District projections for 1997-98 through 2012-13; the mid-range projections by school type; the comparison of mid-range projections with actual enrollment for fall 2003; the single family housing growth and enrollment change; the single family permits versus growth assumptions; the total building permits in the District for 2000-2003 (four years); and the SMART Projects and other developments in Austin. Mr. Harner has worked with the City of Austin demographer related to projected development and building permits. Mr. Harner noted that the new projections would be completed within two weeks.
Ingrid Taylor noted that the presentation brings up needed policy changes and the need for analysis of out migration to be addressed by administration and Board.
Discussion related to Section 3, Tax and Financial Information, included: Larry Throm confirmed that the financial information in the proposed bond program has remained the same and the change would be the certified values in 2005.
Board discussion related to Section 4, Leveraging Our Investment, included the following: continuing to work with the City of Austin, University of Texas, and Travis County in terms of joint projects such as Pickle Elementary School; the consideration of athletic fields built at Burger Center; consideration of placing athletic fields closer to schools; the support of south Austin schools for using Butler Fields with upgrades and improvements; and the representation of all sports on the Interscholastic Athletic Task Force.
Robert Schneider requested that staff provide the cost of construction and operation for a swimming facility in the District.
John Fitzpatrick requested that staff provide background information regarding the Interscholastic Athletic Task Force.
The Board had the following questions related to Section 5, Collateral Issues:
Robert Schneider requested that staff provide information regarding the number of portables that will be at campuses after implementation of the bond.
Patricia Whiteside requested that staff include why portables remain at schools instead of building an addition.
The Board had the following questions related to Section 6, Management of the Bond Program:
John Fitzpatrick requested that staff provide additional information regarding the three different models of bond management, and requested a commitment from the Board that there would be a discussion about the best way to manage the bond program.
There was no discussion regarding Section 7, Proposed Bond Propositions.
Board discussion regarding Section 8, Issues Raised at CBAC Public Forums, included the following: the areas of environmental stewardship; the review of consumption of electricity and natural gas in terms of purchase policies; the community value discussed in the context of policy governance; the costs associated with environmental issues would be provided to the Board; staff would be meeting Environmental Defense; possible policy decision that the Board would have to consider; the possibilities for the Performing Arts Center to include communities and programs for musicians; consideration of opportunity through college and career initiatives; and consideration of an environmental magnet as a great value to the community priority and sensitivity to air and water resources.
John Fitzpatrick requested that staff provide more details on the Performing Arts Center at McCallum High School and the science and technology wing at Travis High School that were not able to be included during the initial review by the CBAC.
President Valdez reviewed the four outstanding issues that the CBAC provided during the presentation on March 29th:
• Middle school in southwest Austin, Circle C Tract 101
• Performing Arts Center at McCallum High School
• Science and Technology wing at Travis High School
• Environmental stewardship in bond program
With agreement from the Trustees to request the CBAC to review the outstanding issues, President Valdez invited the three chairs of the CBAC for input.
Patricia Whiteside requested that if the CBAC agrees to review the issues, perhaps they could also review if strategic planning had been done on the campuses for these suggestions.
Robert Schneider requested that Dennis Harner provide the data and projections with regard to the possibility of purchasing land in this bond cycle for a new high school in south Austin with the construction during the next bond program.
Vince Torres, tri-chair of the CBAC, extended continued service of the CBAC to the District. Sheryl Cole and John Blazier, chairs of the CBAC, confirmed that the Committee would review the issues and it would be a challenge to provide a quality report in thirty days with the same standards that were applied in the initial review.
President Valdez requested that the Board Officers meet with the CBAC Tri-Chairs to establish the process and timeline.
Paul Turner noted that staff would await instructions after the Board Officers and CBAC Tri-Chairs meet and be prepared at the next work session to respond to questions and provide a status report on the review of the outstanding items.
Schedule of Bond Public Hearings
Paul Turner reported that the CBAC hosted four public forums at McCallum High School, Mendez Middle School, Small Middle School and Martin Middle School.
Mr. Turner also reviewed the proposed dates for Board Public Hearings: Saturday, April 17th, at Carruth Administration Center Board Auditorium; Monday, April 19th, at Reagan High School; and Tuesday, April 20th, at Covington Middle School.
Board discussion included: concerns regarding the timeline for the public hearings related to the consideration of the four additional issues; the televising of public hearings; and informing the public about the public hearings.
Dr. Forgione reviewed the schedule for bond discussions: Tuesday, April 27th Board Work Session; Monday, May 3rd Special Board Meeting; and Board action on Monday, May 10th, Regular Board Meeting.
Robert Schneider requested that staff provide how the recommended amount of the bond compares to what the polling data suggested and requested discussion regarding the way to meet the challenge of informing the public about the District now and how the bond will help the future.
John Fitzpatrick requested that staff provide information regarding the required timeline for the Board taking action on the bond proposal.
At 9:42 p.m., President Valdez announced the conclusion of the televised portion of the work session.
Johna Edwards requested that a school map overlay (transparency) be provided to the Board for the maps.
After discussion, the Trustees completed six Board Self-Assessment Forms: three rated Commendable and three rated Acceptable.
The work session adjourned at 9:59 p.m.
Doyle Valdez, President of the Board
Ave Wahrmund, Secretary of the Board
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AISD Board of Trustees
From left to right: John J. Fitzpatrick, Patricia Whiteside, Mark Williams, Doyle Valdez,
Robert Schneider, Cheryl Bradley, Rudy Montoya, Johna H. Edwards, and Ave Wahrmund.