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Hawkins ISD Board of Trustees

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Meeting in regular session Monday, November 1, the board of trustees of the Hawkins Independent School District continued discussion of pending needs of the district and the methods to provide funding for the necessary repairs and replacements. The board also heard enthusiastic reports of student learning experiences beyond the classroom.
Following up on an issue that was a discussion item on last month's meeting agenda board members again addressed needs facing the district's buildings and infrastructure. Items such as replacement of the telephone system, roof repairs on the older buildings, necessary air-conditioner unit replacements, school bus replacements, road repaving, and resurfacing the track facility and tennis courts.
Board members plan to seek more detailed information regarding each area of need by establishing a committee of citizens to assess them.
Hawkins, like other school districts that are subject to the Chapter 41 recapture law (Robin Hood) that requires taxes assessed on the Maintenance and Operating Fund to be shared with property-tax-poor districts throughout the state. That school finance scheme in Texas makes bond-funding of major replacement and maintenance expenditures through the Interest and Sinking Fund (I&S), which is not subject to the Chapter 41 tax, more attractive than through the pay-as-go, year-to-year Maintenance & Operating (M&O) budget which is subject to the impact of "Robin Hood."
The board heard a report from Robert Behnke on the Robotic Team competition held recently in the Metroplex. The Hawkins team finished sixth among 28 schools in the competition. The local team, with funding from Exxon, will participate in five additional competitions during the year. "Experience is critically important for team members," Behnke said and he anticipates success as the year progresses. Hawkins is expected to return six of nine team members next year.
For the first time Hawkins fifth grade students and their teachers attended a three-day, two night activity at Rockin' C Ranch that their teachers described as "a tremendous learning and bonding experience for all participants."
The board received a report on the audit for the year ended August 31, 2010 from Rutherford, Taylor & Company, P.C. The report rendered an "Unqualified Opinion," the best possible. A public hearing was also held on the state of Texas' state financial accountability rating for the district which was deemed "Superior Achievement" based upon the assessment of financial management for 2008-2009.
In other action, the board:
- heard a report on the award-winning achievement of Hawkins students participating in an automotive technology class at Tyler Junior College;
- approved a "Make Education a Priority" resolution to be presented to the Texas legislature;
- agreed to cooperate with Citizens National Bank in establishing a "Hawk" debit card.
The next regular meeting of the Hawkins ISD board is scheduled for Monday, December 6 at 7 p.m. A special meeting of the board may be held with 72-hour advance public notice.