Concerned parent addresses School Board

At every Henderson Independent School District (HISD) meeting an opportunity is given for the public to address pending agenda items before the Trustees start discussing possible action items.

Tuesday night during the regular School Board meeting Rachel Hale, a parent addressed the School Board to express some concerns she had regarding the District of Innovations Policy.

“I disagree with the disposal of school property, hiring noncertified teachers, increasing the classroom size and discontinuing corporal punishment,” said Hale.

By law the Board may not speak or address any concerns during a public comment, they can only listen.

Hale went down her list of concerns one by one explaining each one in detail and why it was a concern of hers. She also addressed Critical Race Theory that has been a main topic in national news.

“Critical Race Theory has been mandated to not be in Texas Schools, however, the NEA, American’s largest teacher’s union passed a resolution to teach CRT in every grade. Will the loophole that allows us to go against state mandates allow this to be brought into our schools? I am not only concerned about CRT being blatantly taught but about it being introduced in a sneaky way like requiring an English class to read a CRT book and do a report on it,” Hale said.

The last thing she addressed was her approval of corporal punishment if a child deserves it.

The first order of action items on the agenda was consider and approve the Order of Trustee Election and Nomination of Election Administrator. The trustee election is set for Tuesday, November 2, 2021. The first day to file is July 17 and the last day to file is August 16, 2021. 

Positions coming up for re-election are District 3, James Holmes, District 4, Vickie Martinez-Murillo and District 5, Dr. Jamie Sugg. Amanda Wallace was appointed as the Elections Administrator for HISD.

The Trustees also approved a budget transfer of $12,500 to purchase water cows (non-powered hydration system) for athletics.

The rest of the evening was for information and discussion items.

Shannon Bennett gave the 2021 HISD School Safety and Security Audit review. Overall all of the campuses received a good report.

Bennett told the Trustees, “This is the same company that did the audit three years ago.”

Amanda Wallace gave the first reading of the TASB Legislative Update 117 concerning policy revisions. These included purchasing and acquisition, purchasing and acquisition vendor disclosures and contracts, facilities construction and compensation and benefits leaves and absences.

The next report was giving by Amanda Wallace as well. This also was a first reading of the TASB local policy review.

“The review revealed that there were some policies that were outdated based on recent legislative sessions or practices and regulations that may have changed overtime,” Wallace said.

Both of the first readings will be put on the next agenda with proposed revisions as an action item.

A TASB pay system review was also presented by Amanda Wallace, that revealed how teacher and support staff were compensated and recommendations how the district could be competitive. The study revealed that Henderson ISD salaries were below the local market median salaries. This puts the district at a disadvantage in hiring replacement staff.

The recommendation was to adopt a general pay increase to maintain market position with three models to choose from. Model one was a two percent increase for all job groups, model two was a three percent increase for all job groups or model three a four percent increase for all job groups.

Dr. Stephanie Bonneau presented a summary of Henderson ISD 2021 STAAR Scores. It was not Henderson’s best year but many factors contributed to the results such as the students missed classes in Spring 2020 with many students spending the entire year in the ROAR@home program because of the pandemic.

According to Dr. Bonneau the district is already preparing how to have a better score this year.

Wakita Lamb gave the last two reports of the night. They were the district’s ESSER III plan which is the second grant being issued by the Federal government that will be made available in two disbursement and the intent to apply for federal another Federal grant.

The next School Board meeting will take place on Tuesday August 10 at 5:30 p.m. at the Administration Board Room located at 300 Crosby Drive.

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