Three Wichita Falls ISD board members couldn’t shake the worry that ending the 2013-14 school year in June would lead to frivolous field trips and films in the classroom during those final days.
They voted “nay” to the proposed calendar at Monday’s regularly scheduled work session.
But they were trumped by the other four board members who voted for the first WFISD calendar in years that extends the school year into June.
The district’s calendar committee proposed the calendar that ended the school year June 6 to keep all students in school until the state reports high school End of Course results.
With the high school students in school, it will be easier to arrange summer reteaching and retesting.
Board members the Rev. Reginald Blow, Allyson Flack, Trey Sralla and Kevin Goldstein supported the June-ending calendar as long as teachers filled those extra days with academic rigor.
“There is nothing to preclude working on standards for next year,” said John Frossard, WFISD superintendent.
Assistant Superintendent Tim Powers said the few field trips taken relate somehow to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills.
“There is some learning that goes on with 99 percent of it,” he said. “As Dr. Frossard said, we plan on emphasizing those days going into June, achieving mastery of TEKS for the coming year.”
Sralla said he felt he could support the June 6 end-date in the new 2013-14 calendar because he felt staff had heard the board’s call for rigor on every day of the school year. “We’re serious about wanting ... to not have wasted time,” Sralla said.
Goldstein called 10 school districts — Waco, Abilene and even Frossard’s old stomping ground in Fort Bend — and learned each of them was ending in June except for Abilene.
However, he urged WFISD staff in the future to give board members a choice of calendars that end in May and June.
“The real devil here is the state,” said board member Bob Payton. “They tell us when to start, when we do testing, now when to end.”
Board members Payton, Kirk Wolfe and Dale Harvey opposed the calendar.
In the annual financial report for the fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, 2012, the CPA firm of Edgin, Parkman, Fleming & Fleming gave a “clean opinion” of the district but noted three findings in its report, which was presented to board members and approved Monday.
Instances of noncompliance were found in administration of federal programs for special education, the EduJob Funds, and Child Nutrition.
In one, the district did not record all entries of its activity, and the misstatements were not caught before the audit.
In Child Nutrition, a 2012 price increase on snacks and chips should have triggered a rebid, but didn’t.
Among grant requirements, auditors tested 71 transactions. Three were not completed in a timely manner, and two had no documentation.
A finding/recommendation also found a significant deficiency in financial reporting as the district implemented the payroll module of its new accounting system.
There were “significant delays” in posting payroll activity, preparing bank reconciliations and requesting drawdowns for state and federal grants, according to the audit.
WFISD is preparing a corrective action plan.
At the close of its fiscal year, WFISD’s assets exceeded liabilities by $51.5 million.
The district’s savings account was at $16.4 million.
The district expensed $124.5 million — $2.9 million less than the district’s revenue of $127.4 million.
The key reasons for the $2.9 million increase in net assets came from a reduction of $5.4 million in long-term debt, a reduction in capital assets of $3.2 million, an increase of $1.2 million in current net assets, and an increase of half a million in other liabilities.
The balance of the General Fund was $14.1 million at fiscal year’s end — a decrease of half a million because of money spent on a scoreboard and new accounting software.
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