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SCHOOL BOARD TRUSTEES LOWER PROPERTY TAX RATE

August 23, 2022

Godley ISD Board of Trustees

Godley ISD school board trustees adopted a balanced operating budget and lowered the district’s property tax rate during its regular monthly meeting on August 22, 2022, at Godley High School.

 

Following a public hearing, the board approved a general fund budget of $33.367 million to cover most expenditures as well as $1.656 million food service budget, which covers the district’s self-sufficient child nutrition program, and $9.967 million debt service budget, which covers interest and debt payments from bond programs and other capital improvements.  Revenue for debt service is expected to be $7.08 million, and fund balance reserves will cover the remaining amount.

 

The lower tax rate of $1.4746 is comprised of $0.9746 for maintenance and operating expenses in the general fund and $0.50 for interest and sinking expenses for debt service.  The new overall rate represents a decrease of $0.0174 below the previous rate of $1.492.  The tax rate is levied on each $100 of property valuation.

 

Separately, trustees adopted a lower tax rate of $0.024210 for Hill College. The previous rate was $0.02692 to fund the two-year junior college, which covers Johnson County.  Per agreements with most school districts in the county, the college tax is adopted by each school board to fund college operations and programs.

 

School board members also heard an accountability presentation from Assistant Superintendent Jason Karnes, Chief Academic Officer Dr. Airemy Caudle, and campus principals.  The group outlined survey results to establish a new Community Based Accountability System (CBAS) to measure growth and identify areas of improvement. The system is developed with input from families and staff to determine community standards for local schools.

 

Components of the CBAS include seven pillars - compared to the state’s accountability system, which is based on a single State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) assessment. These pillars were in partnership with the Texas Public Accountability Consortium (TPAC) to represent the standards of effective schools.

 

For both elementary and secondary parents, student character and leadership skills was the most important area followed by individual student growth on local assessments or teacher observation.  Other criteria include success in extracurricular areas and home/school relations and communication.  

 

Parents and staff ranked state and federal accountability the least important factor as it primarily focuses on student performance on state standardized tests.  In newly released state ratings, both the district and GHS received overall grades of B. Godley Middle School and the former Godley Intermediate School each received a C rating. 

 

Principals outlined implementation steps for the school year as the district focuses on three important CBAS pillars:

 

  • Engaged Well Rounded Students

  • Professional Learning and Effective Staff

  • Safety and Well-Being

 

Steps to implement these pillars include an accelerated learning program through American Reading Company, emphasis on attendance, elementary clubs, collaborative learning spaces, character lessons, and time with school counselors. New safety protocols stress campus security through classroom monitoring and no exterior doors propped open.

 

The board heard facility progress for Pleasant View Elementary School as well as projects at GHS.  Construction at the new elementary campus is moving forward with a target date of October 7 for completion; opening could be later in the semester if there are weather-related delays.  Phase 2 projects at the high school include a four-story career and technical education center and a competition gymnasium.

 

Board members adopted a resolution in support of the Johnson County Active Threat Protocol.  The system was developed in partnership with area school districts and local law enforcement agencies to address school safety issues, including potential active shooter incidents.

 

Trustees denied two Level III grievances following presentations from both complainants and the administration as well as consultation with legal counsel.

 

Reports to the board included:

 

  • Superintendent Dr. Rich Dear announced that district enrollment currently totaled 2,771 students - up 143 from the previous year and up 101 from the first day of school. In addition, attendance reached 96.68% during the first few weeks of school.

  • Technology progress was presented by director Marty Oliver.  The new district website is live, and ClassLink is now available as a single sign-on platform for many educational applications.  The technology department is also working on implementation of Class Wize to monitor network traffic for potential risks, threats, and safety issues.  Oliver also summarized technology usage statistics.

  • Two new school buses will soon be delivered, according to Director of Transportation Tammy Ballard. Student ridership currently totals 911 students through 20 routes and one shuttle bus. The department is also evaluating new routing software.

 

The board also approved budget amendments, minutes from recent meetings, and financial and investment reports. Administrators announced new staff members.  In addition, Dr. Caudle presented a professional development plan for trustees to consider at a future meeting.

 

In other action, board members approved extracurricular status for Tarrant County 4-H and also appointed several organization staff members as adjunct faculty.

 

School trustees will next meet on Monday, September 19.  Board meetings are held at GHS, which is located at 9501 Highway 171.