|San Jacinto News-Times - Local News
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COCISD joins other districts in court action
San Jacinto News- Times
COLDSPRING -- Coldspring-Oakhurst Consolidated Independent School District trustees have authorized participation in an association that takes aim at the Texas school fi nance system via the courts. Meeting in regular session, board members also approved expenditure of more than $44,800 to transform a Coldspring-Oakhurst High School classroom into an Apple iMac Graphics Lab. Costs will be funded through the non-local, Career and Technical Education fund. Regarding the court action, the board approved a resolution in support of the Texas Taxpayer and Student Fairness Coalition. The Coalition asks the court to declare the school fi nance system unconstitutional, deeming it inequitable, ineffi cient, and unsustainable. able. The petition cites specific articles of the Texas Constitution violated by Senate Bill 1, legislation passed last summer reducing public school funding by $4 billion. Superintendent, Dr. LaTonya Goffney, told trustees, “It is believed that the only way to see change (in the school finance system) is through litigation.” She said more than 250 school districts have joined the Coalition. Trustees unanimously passed a participation resolution capping the District’s financial contribution at about $2,200, based on state reimbursement for the weighted average daily attendance. Another item of unusual political entanglement before trustees was possible revision of the board’s policy governing “nonschool use of school facilities.” Goffney said that the District’s attorney recommended review of the policy following a recent public dispute about school facility use for a local, political fundraising event. “Currently,” Goffney said, “the District’s guidelines and policies are similar to other school districts.” COCISD allows rental of school facilities for a usage fee as well as charges for additional services such as custodial or security personnel. Board president, Fred Taylor commented, “I’ve been in other buildings in the county and this (the Jones Auditorium and Professional Development Center) is one of the nicest available. I would not change anything about our policy. When we remodeled,” he added, “one of the ideas was to have it for community use.” Trustee Dale Richards voiced agreement with Taylor. Board members continued the meeting without action to the policy, as no one expressed disagreement with it. Regarding the Apple iMac lab, assistant superintendent, Dr. Bill Chapman, said enrollment requests for the high school’s new graphics and animation class exceed its capability. Chapman, therefore, proposed the purchase of 24 new iMac computers. As the class is considered a CTE course, state funding will cover costs of the equipment, totaling $44,843. Finally, Adam Jenke, business manager, reported that Texas Energy Acquisitions has donated 7,000 feet of pipe to COCISD. The pipe will be used to complete fencing at COHS. Jenke said the donation value was estimated to be $6,500 in materials and delivery. Texas Energy Acquisitions is a Houston-based oil company currently increasing its presence and activity in San Jacinto County. Board members expressed their appreciation for the donation. Jenke said construction of the fence is scheduled to begin this winter.