Galveston ISD Board of Trustees shift programs, facilities for 2012-2013 school year
Weis Middle School joins Central Middle School, GECHS becomes Scott Collegiate Academy, and KIPP expands to two campuses; moves made to make better use of facilities, save money
GALVESTON, Texas – The Galveston Independent School District Board of Trustees voted on moves toward dealing with $4.7 million in mandatory budget cuts for the 2012-2013 school year by the state legislature at its regular board meeting held on Wednesday night. The moves mean some programs will have new homes for the 2012-2013 school year to make better use of school district facilities. An early exit incentive program will also seek to gain relief from cuts.
“This is the reality school districts in Texas are facing,” said Superintendent of Schools Larry Nichols. “Austin has told us we have to make cuts to our budget and we had to be creative in trimming those numbers. It has not been easy, but we appreciate the patience and understanding that staff, GISD Trustees, and parents have shown throughout the process as we worked on budget cut proposals throughout the Fall.”
The changes to existing programs include:
· Weis Middle School with 5th and 6th grade students will join 7th and 8th graders at Central Middle School (3014 Sealy Ave) for the 2012-2013 school year; this move will save the district a projected $425,000 in staffing costs
· Galveston Early College High School (GECHS) has become Scott Collegiate Academy with enrollment remaining as a grades 5-8 college-readiness program at the former Scott Elementary campus
· AIM College and Career Preparatory moves to the former Alamo Elementary campus, current home to the GISD warehouse and District Alternative Education Program (DAEP); the DAEP program will remain at the Alamo campus
· KIPP Coastal Village will take the place of the current home of AIM College and Career Preparatory at San Jacinto, expanding its enrollment to a middle school at the campus with grades 5-7; elementary enrollment at KIPP will remain at the former Rosenberg Elementary campus
· The GISD warehouse currently located at Alamo will move to a facility at 4302 Ave. Q, leased from American National Insurance Company for $1 a year plus an amount not to exceed $100,000 for leasehold improvements such as office space and restrooms
The GISD Board of Trustees also agreed on an early exit program for Chapter 21 personnel. Those who announce their decision to leave the district early will be eligible for up a $2,000 incentive with a cap set at 60 positions.
Last year, GISD administration dealt with a $2.7 million in state cuts for the 2011-2012 school year in several ways, including by decreasing staff through attrition by approximately 40 positions. A shift from self-funded health insurance to TRS-Care expects save the district upwards of $2.5 million dollars, according to the GISD Finance Department. All departments scaled back their budgets starting this fiscal year with the target set at 15 percent per year through 2012-2013.
Galveston ISD also joined a lawsuit along with 120 school districts that is fighting the fairness of the state funding formula. GISD is a Chapter 41 district, considered a property-tax wealthy district by the state. Nearly $10 million in tax money is returned to the state each year for dispersal to less property-tax wealthy districts.