Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Lancaster ISD meeting update - 5/4/09
The Lancaster ISD school board postponed action on selecting an attorney.
The Lancaster ISD school board postponed action on selecting an attorney. Ed Kirkland and Carolyn Morris exchanged heated words regarding the lack of a presentation by a law firm currently under retainer. Kirkland, in particular, accused Morris of a conflict of interest arising from her "day job" as a parent's advocate for special education issues, that sometimes brings her into litigation against that same firm. Morris objected that such an accusation, nor her defense regarding it, were scheduled for discussion on the previously released agenda. In any event the board decided not to decide on any of four law firms now bidding their services.
Mr. Earl Husfeld, lately assistant superintendent of Grand Prairie ISD, was confirmed as the new Chief Financial Officer for Lancaster.
The Board approved a partnership with the federal Dept. of Education "Head Start" program. This will align the district's pre-Kindergarten program with Federal goals and standards. Questioned on capacity, maintenance director Phillip Pape reported that all campuses had sufficient room for the expected number of 4-year-olds. The campus most near capacity is Houston Elementary, now assigned some 550 students. That facility has peak capacity of 660, plus two "portable" classrooms still on site. Mr. Pape assured the board the kids would have classrooms.
Bank of America, the current depository, was renewed for two years as the LISD's financial partner.
The new principal at Lancaster Middle School was approved, Mr. Addison Russ.
A long discussion among financial expert Mike Fletcher, Athletic director Beverly Humphrey, and trustees considered changing the stadium "activity" fund into a general fund obligation. According to the financial team, sports has been a net loser to the district for at least the past two years. This is reportedly a typical problem in local school athletic programs; as more and more "luxury" facilities have been built, the market has saturated the price obtained for renting it out (and frequency of such rentals) has fallen.
The headhunters from Arrow indicate it may be possible to have a superintendent identified by August. A survey form the Arrow group will distribute to the community was approved. (Enlarge picture to the right.)
The high point of the very long evening occurred at the beginning when the elementary students from the local IB (International Baccalaureate) school displayed their business acumen. They are, for the next week, running a shop selling items made of recycled materials -- and treating their school as an historic antiquity, offering tours.
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