In separate action, a second public hearing was held on the proposed 2012 tax rate.
Later in the meeting, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to adopt a rate that maintains a combined or total tax rate of $1.3945 per $100 of assessed valuation.
SBISD's rate has remained the same for four years now.
Stipends valued at $500 were awarded to 23 SBISD educators or campus teaching teams during the 23rd annual J. Landon Short Mini-Grants for Educators presentation.
J. Landon Short Mini-Grant Winners
A panel of judges chose the winning competitive applications. The Mini-Grants competition is named for lifelong education advocate and supporter J. Landon Short, who was a founding member of the SBISD Partners in Education Advisory Board.
The annual competition and gifts are coordinated by the district's Community Relations Dept.
About $9,500 was awarded this year through the permanent endowment of The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation, and through gifts from the Spring Branch Education Foundation and First Community Credit Union.
SBISD Coordinator for Partnerships & Volunteer Programs Sue Loudis introduced the educators who submitted 17 winning projects. A pre-meeting reception was held for all teachers who won grants this year.
SBEF Gifts and Scholarships
Leaders with the Spring Branch Education Foundation, meanwhile, presented a record-setting check representing gifts and scholarship awards totaling $615,191 for the past fiscal year.
The amount marks a new fund-raising record for the organization, described by Superintendent of Schools Duncan F. Klussmann, Ed.D., as "the best school education foundation in the nation."
The symbolic check was presented to Trustees by SBEF Chairman Mike Rome and by SBEF Executive Director Cece Thompson. SBISD Community Relations Officer and SBEF Board Member Linda Buchman introduced the annual check presentation event. Since its establishment, the Foundation has provided more than $7 million in financial support to teachers and students in SBISD.
To support programs, the Foundation sponsors many annual and special fund-raising events. Next, Spring Branch ISD Police Officers, Jesse Diaz and Dwayne Hernandez, were honored for their hard work with area law enforcement agencies to halt local gang activities that included drug trafficking and home invasions. This police effort occurred during the summer of 2011.
This August, the two police officers earned the Chief of Police Unit Citation from the Houston Police Dept. as part of the Houstone/Tango Blast Violent Gang Initiative. Houston Police Chief Charles A. McClelland Jr. presented citations for dedication, teamwork and exceptional investigative skills to the officers.
SBISD Police Chief Chuck Brawner detailed the actions of the two officers with multiple police agencies at the Board meeting.
No Place for Hate Designation for Administration Building
For the second time in three years, staff in SBISD's Administration Building has earned a No Place for Hate Designation through gHouston's Southwest Regional office of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
SBISD community members and ADL Board Members Jay Harberg and Janet Pozmantier presented the award. More than two dozen SBISD campuses have earned the No Place for Hate Designation for their school-based efforts to operate inclusive and respectful school environments.
2012 Tax Rate Does Not Change
Following a second public hearing on the proposed 2012 tax rate, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to adopt a tax rate that maintains a combined or total tax rate of $1.3945 per $100 of assessed valuation. Spring Branch is one of the few school districts in Harris County to continue to give its homeowners the 20 percent homestead exemption.
The tax rate vote maintains $1.09 as the General Fund Tax Rate for maintenance and operations, and $0.3045 for the fourth year in a row as the Debt Service Rate set for approved bond issues.
The combined or total tax rate of $1.3945 is four years old; the $1.09 General Fund Tax Rate has been maintained for six years. For the owner of a $200,000 home in Spring Branch qualifying for the full 20 percent homestead exemption, estimated school taxes will be about $2,022, or about the same as last year.
Among Houston area school districts, the average annual school taxes paid on a $200,000 home are now $2,400. Property values in Spring Branch have increased this year by 3 percent, but district revenues did not increase under the state's current school financing plan.
By current law, the State of Texas funds less so school revenues do not increase. The Legislature meets again in January 2013.