By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (November 16, 2015) — Stephenville ISD trustees are wasting no time putting the money from the tax ratification election to use.
As trustees and superintendent Matt Underwood promised voters when they asked them for permission to move money from debt to operations, the added available funds are going directly back to the students in the form of technology.
The board unanimously approved a measure at its regular board meeting Monday to purchase 660 iPad Mini 4 units with 64GB Wifi card, software, case and carts for storage at a total cost of $391,692.30 for Hook Elementary School, which serves third and fourth grade students.
SISD Executive Director of Technology and Digital Learning Shelby Womack reported to board members regarding the Ipads, and noted that the carts are necessary for storage because students will not be allowed to take the tablets home.
The overwhelming support for the tax ratification election means an increase of about $373,000 in the operations fund. The remaining $18,000-plus will come from operations funding that was already budgeted for technology.
Getting the iPads with less than $20,000 coming out of the original budget was music to the ears of SISD Chief Financial Officer Deborah Hummel.
“This is good, this is good,” Hummel said, beaming. “Debbie likes this.”
Superintendent Matt Underwood expounded.
“You can see all the revenue generated from the tax ratification election will go directly back to the students at Hook Elementary,” Underwood said.
The board canvassed the results of the November 3 tax ratification election, and made proclamations recognizing all-state jazz band selection Reagan Drake, the district champion Yellow Jackets cross country team and the district runner-up Honeybee cross country team.
In his superintendent’s report, Underwood told trustees the district is considering moving its Head Start program to Chamberlain Elementary School, where “instead of riding a bus, they can walk right down the hall.”
The superintendent also informed the board that the school’s S&P Rating has improved “one rung on the ladder” from A+ (plus) to AA- (Double A minus), and mentioned that Stephenville Economic Development Corporation (STEDCo) announced at its annual luncheon Monday a dual credit grant grant partnership for SISD students between FMC and Ranger College. The district and FMC will also partner for the Texas Association of School Boards Business Recognition Program.