Budget workshop held by trustees
Trustees held a budget workshop to plan for Northwest ISD’s 2020-21 fiscal year, while also reviewing the 2019-20 fiscal year and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on finances.

The 2019-20 budget remains in favorable position. To maintain the favorable outlook, purchasing has been restricted outside of items that support the home instruction program, are directly related to the COVID-19 facilities closure, or are necessary to complete the school year.

School districts across the state are awaiting guidance from the state for their 2020-21 budgets, as further tax rate compression will take place. Examples of some other factors include a likely reduction in recapture payments to the state and full-day pre-kindergarten program requirements. 

Medical premiums for 2020-21 discussed
As the district continues to plan its 2020-21 budget, trustees previewed the staff medical premiums for the fiscal year.

The district offers three medical plan options – high-deductible, core and basic – with 69 percent of staff members enrolled in the high-deductible option for the 2019-20 plan year. In the proposed medical premiums, the district would continue to offer a $350 per month contribution, one of the largest contribution amounts among school districts in North Texas, while overall premiums would increase to keep pace with increasing health care costs. 

These proposed premium increases would range from $35 for an employee-only high-deductible plan to $342 for an employee and family on the core plan (the most expensive plan offering).

In addition to the health plan, the district recommends changing its dental provider from Ameritas to Cigna to increase its provider network and reduce premium costs by 11.5 percent.

Compensation plan for 2020-21 discussed
As the district continues to plan its 2020-21 budget, trustees previewed the compensation plan for the fiscal year.

Trustees were presented with midpoint raise scenarios and their overall costs to the district as well as a proposed increase to guest educator pay. While no determination has been made on employee midpoint raises, the guest-educator pay raise is recommended to increase per daily rates by $5 for an instructional aide guest educator to $10 for other guest educators (including guest educators serving as special education aides, non-degreed teachers, degreed teachers and certified teachers).

Board policy updated
Trustees approved local board policy changes as recommended by the Texas Association of School Boards and the school district. 

Northwest ISD and school districts across the state regularly update their policies to keep pace with changing legal requirements. Some of the policy area updates included in the approval include issues relating to emergency meetings, public comments, threat assessment teams and public information requests during a catastrophe.

Links to all of the changes can be seen here.

Reports, discussions addressed by board
District leadership presented the following subjects to the board as a report or discussion:

  • February Finance and Investment
  • Transportation Effectiveness
  • Food Services Effectiveness
  • After-School Services Effectiveness

To view reports or discussion presentations from board meetings, click here.

In other action, the board
  • Accepted a donation from a developer of roughly half an acre near Lance Elementary School that better aligns the district’s property to the edges of roads by the school.
  • Approved an extension and addendum to the district’s contract with AlphaBEST, which provides after-school services. The contract will now run through July 31, 2021.