WEIMAR - The Weimar Independent School District Board of Trustees agreed to purchase a facilities assessment plan and hire a new auditor Monday night, but Senate Bill 3, passed earlier in the day to give teachers a $5,000 pay raise, took center stage.
Senate Bill 3
The Texas Senate unanimously passed a bill that would provide $5,000 annual pay raises for all full-time classroom teachers and librarians Monday. WISD Superintendent Jon Wunderlich stated that he has heard concern over how these pay increases will be funded.
Wunderlich informed the board that although several school districts are already reducing their number of teachers and aides in anticipation of the financial burden this raise could bring to their district, WISD was not.
“Don’t get rattled, we’ll be fine,” said Wunderlich. “Just hold tight, it’s really about do not panic. To me, it’s a positive.”
Wunderlich assured the board that he would keep them informed as more legislative updates become available regarding how the raises will be funded. He also said that WISD pay scale is already significantly above the state average.
Trustees unanimously approved obtaining a facilities assessment and strategic plan from Region 13 Education Service Center at a cost to the district of $9,400.
Wunderlich said that he feels having this formal assessment in place from an independent source is more valuable than speaking directly to individual salespeople for advice.
“I think this is valued,” said Wunderlich.” Spend a little up front so you don’t waste on the back-end.”
During the superintendent’s report, Wunderlich informed the board about his anticipated need to replace an obsolete air handler used to control the high school campus’ air conditioning and heating. The current system requires manual rebooting every five hours to keep the heat on and does not allow for zoning. The bid presented to the trustees reflected an estimated cost ranging from $99,500 to $137,900.
The discussion was merely informative as this item was not on the agenda for a vote.
“I’m not ready to do this yet,” said Wunderlich.
Singleton, Clark & Co. were selected by the trustees to once again perform the audit on the school district at a cost of $19,600, an increase of $500 over what the same firm charged the district last year.
Trustee Steve Williams inquired as to if the district was allowed to use the same company for several years repeatedly. Wunderlich explained that the although it was indeed the same company, they changed which auditor from within the firm actually performed the audit itself, thereby allowing them to continue to use the same firm.
“No holds barred, it’s not about hiding something,” said Wunderlich. “It’s about what we can do better.”
Trustees extended contracts through the 2020-2021 school year for Stacy Heger, Kristy Janecka, Lee Mueller, Amanda Turlington, Eleanor Moreno, Roger Maupin, and Ryan McIver. A probationary contract was approved for Garrett Evans through the end of the May 2019 school year to teach high school math.
Wunderlich informed that board that the high school’s first SAT preparation night was a success, with several students in attendance and teachers volunteering their time until 8:30 p.m. at night. The students and teachers want to plan on future similar evenings that break down reading, writing, and math into separate sessions.
The trustees unanimously voted to cancel the upcoming WISD trustee board election since all three expiring positions are uncontested.
The WISD Board of Trustees meet the first Monday of every month at 6 p.m. in the board room at 506 W. Main.