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LISD pay plan still uncertain

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

For the fourth month, most of the conversation around the Lockhart Independent Board of Trustees conference table on Monday night centered around how district employees are paid.
Trustees continue to grapple with a salary survey prepared by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) – a survey that trustees have repea

tedly reviewed and questioned, and administrators have frequently changed.
“I”m reluctant to vote on this now because there are still so many pieces that need to be resolved, and I would have hoped that we would have gotten them resolved before the administration brought this thing back to us,” said Trustee Timoteo “Tim” Juarez during the lengthy discussion. Juarez, along with the other trustees, has long been concerned that the salary survey is structured in a way that could be punitive to long-time employees. In addition, Juarez maintains that the board requested a 3 percent “across the board” raise for employees and the TASB document calculated salaries on a “midpoint scale.”
Another key problem with the survey, as noted by Trustee Clint Mohle, is that some district employees do not know how much they are being paid, or how much they should be paid.
“I bet everyone at the administrative office knows what they get paid,” Mohle said. ” The people at the top know, but the people at the bottom don”t know.”
Human Resources Director Theresa Ramirez noted that one of the hold-ups in the process of having the survey completed is that she has not yet received the survey containing corrections and adjustments made by the board during past meetings.
Finally, Superintendent John Hall requested that the salary survey be withdrawn from the agenda as an action item, and committed to getting the project finished in the near future.
“I will be on the phone with TASB every day, and I will go up there at least once a week if I have to,” Hall said. “One of my greatest short-term goals is to get this thing done and get it behind us.”
The survey should return to the board agenda next month.
Col. Jimmie Jay Wells made a presentation to the board regarding a Lockhart native and Class of 1971 graduate, Harold Gary Bunch, who was recently promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in the U.S. Army.
Wells presented biographical and career information about Bunch, and suggested that the board think of a way to honor the man. His suggestions included naming a street, stadium or building in Bunch”s honor, or erecting signs at the city limits.
“He”s a reminder to our community of how far people, even hometown people, can go.” Wells said.
Board President John Flores asked the board to consider ideas for discussion at the December board meeting.
Cross Country Coach Scott Hippensteel introduced and gave short career biographies of the 2006 State Runners-Up, the Lions Cross Country Team.
“I feel extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to coach another outstanding team this year,” Hippensteel told the Board. “We work all year for a moment like this, and this team has come a long way.”
The Trustees recognized and gave certificates to each member of the team.
In brief board news:
In a lengthy executive session, the board discussed personnel issues, discipline and placement in special education programs. The board did not take any action on the agenda items.
At Hall”s request, they will consider realigning the elementary campuses to offer Pre-K through fifth grade classes at each campus. The board asked Hall to present a plan for the realignment which includes a timetable and estimated costs for the realignment.
Four schools, Lockhart Junior High, Navarro Elementary, Clearfork Elementary and Bluebonnet Elementary were recognized for their accomplishments as Texas Education Agency (TEA) “Gold Performance” schools.
The board chose an architectural firm to begin consideration and contracting of an expansion at the Caldwell County Appraisal District building, which is still owned by LISD.
The LISD Board of Trustees meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Lockhart High School Conference Center. Meetings are open to the public and interested parents and residents are encouraged to attend.

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