The Schleicher County ISD board of trustees voted Monday, August 30th, to authorize Superintendent Robert Gibson to make decisions related to the school’s COVID-19 protocols.

Gibson was authorized to consult with local health officials and to take steps to address COVID-19 conditions within the school district. The action mirrors steps taken to address the viral pandemic during the previous school year.

Gibson noted that he is not planning to return to remote learning. He is authorized, however, to implement mask mandates, alter the schedule of classes and extracurricular activities, and even suspend classes and extracurricular events if conditions warrant.

Gibson said he would only do so if the conditions required and only then after consulting with team members within the school as well as local health officials. He further noted that he would keep the board informed if and when such a move becomes necessary.

In other business, the board voted to create a reinvestment zone in the north part of the county to facilitate the construction of a solar power project there.

The zone is identical to those previously created by Schleicher County and the Schleicher County Hospital District.

The trustees then voted to grant an “appraised value limitation agreement” or property tax abatement to Bridgelink Cave Springs LLC, the owner/operator of the project.

The board then held a public hearing regarding the school’s 2021-2022 budget. Rey Lucio was on hand and urged the trustees to reduce the budget.
He noted that the local economy is suffering due to the pandemic and that many people have had to cut back on their expenditures.

“Others have cut back and the school should, too,” Lucio said.

Ultimately, the trustees voted unanimously to adopt the proposed budget which already included a 3% decrease over the previous year.

The board then voted to set a 96.04 cent tax rate, down almost nine cents from last year.

“I don’t recall us ever reducing the tax rate by that much,” Board President Kurtis Homer said after the vote.

The reduction in property tax revenue is being offset by increased state funding.

Before adjourning, the board heard that opening day enrollment was 477. That’s down from 507 on the first day of school last year. Gibson explained that a few more students have enrolled since opening day with a total of 485 students currently enrolled.

Kurtis Homer presided over Monday night’s meeting with Trustees Lupe Sanchez, Michelle Mynatt, Glyn Hutto, Fidel Herrera and Sam Ludecke in attendance. Trustee Melissa Rodriguez was absent.

The next meeting of the SCISD board of trustees is slate for 6 p.m. on Monday, September 13th in the administration office board room.