Shady Grove Elementary School second-grader Lorelei Ingram created the Christmas card that will be used by the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District in 2022. Courtesy image
High interest rates have slowed student population growth in the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District, which will affect decisions about upcoming building projects and future budgets. Trent Smith of Zonda Education presented a demographic report to the BCISD Board of Trustees at its regular meeting Monday, Nov. 14.
Last fall’s demographic report showed a fast growth rate, but that has been slowing since the Federal Open Market Committee began raising interest rates in March. Previously, the FOMC had lowered rates to boost the economy during the pandemic. Coupled with long completion rates in new home construction, growth in the district is expected to continue dropping over the next two years.
The slowdown will allow the district to prioritize additional renovations to existing facilities, but it will decrease funding, which is based on student enrollment. The current budget depends on nearly 100 percent student enrollment and attendance.
“The district is going to have to make adjustments to account for lower revenue projections based on the slowdown in growth over the next two years,” said BCISD Superintendent Keith McBurnett in a statement after the meeting. “We are hopeful that the Legislature will raise the basic allotment for school districts across the state. Unfortunately, we won’t know whether or not that will happen until May.”
The Texas Legislature, which only meets every two years, will be in session from January to May in 2023.
IN OTHER BUSINESS
The board approved the 2022 Christmas card design, which this year was created by Shady Grove Elementary School second-grader Lorelei Ingram, and added Personal Financial Literacy and Economics to the course offerings at Burnet High School.
Four amendments were added to the District of Innovation Plan, including the ability to eject unruly/unwanted visitors without prior formal warning and the ability to locally certify teachers in high-needs areas when traditional attempts to find applicants have been exhausted.
“This would allow BCISD to compete with other districts hiring quality teachers-in-training,” McBurnett said. “Important to note is that we cannot use flexibilities in federally governed programs: bilingual, ESL, special education.”
The next meeting of the BCISD board is 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12, in the district board room, 208 E. Brier St. in Burnet.
Students will get an extra day off for the Thanksgiving holidays due to a staff development day on Monday, Nov. 28, according to the superintendent’s statement. Campuses will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday Monday-Friday, Nov. 21-25. Students report back to class on Tuesday, Nov. 29