Three key takeaways from the Waxahachie ISD Board of Trustees meeting on Monday included:
1. Students will pay more for school breakfast and lunches in the 2019-20 school year after the Waxahachie ISD Board of Trustees approved to increase the price of school breakfast from $1.50 to $1.75.
The increase will be implemented at all elementary, junior high and high school campuses.
Ryan Kahlden, assistant superintendent for business and finance, explained in the board book that the cost for school breakfast has not increased within the past five years, meanwhile, cost to produce breakfast meals has risen approximately 10 percent. The push to increase the price is to allow the breakfast program to continue to support itself going forward without financial assistance from the School Breakfast and National School Lunch program, which is run federally through the Texas Department of Agriculture.
If students purchase breakfast 168 days of the year, students would pay approximately $294 versus the $252 paid in 2018-19.
2. Under the same action item, documents explained that after the district performed the required meal calculation for 2019-20, lunch prices needed to increase by $0.10. The approved increase, which only affects Waxahachie High and Waxahachie Global, as approved at $3, which is $0.20 more compared to the 2018-19 school year.
However, a July 8 document inserted by Khalden into the WISD trustees board book states "federal regulations limit the increase to a maximum of $0.10 annually."
When the Daily Light questioned the proposed and approved $0.20 increase to WISD administration, the district's child nutrition department agreed that the number presented Monday was incorrect and also noted some discrepancies in the proposal, which includes there being no increase listed at the junior high or elementary levels.
The agenda item will go back in front of the board for reapproval with the correct information and any changes to the new lunch prices across the district during the July 29 meeting.
A WISD spokesperson confirmed that not updating the new lunch prices at the junior high and elementary level before the trustees' approval was an error made by district officials. It was also noted that the lunch prices approved on Monday as outlined in the board book could change during the trustees meeting later this month.
Last school year, an average of $470 was spent on lunches per student. Students are projected to pay about $504 on lunches during the 2019-20 school year.
The board book noted the changes would generate approximately $70,000 from meals purchased, and the district would most likely propose a price increase for lunches ahead of the 2020-2021 school year, as well.
3. Christine Badillo of Walksh Gallegos provided an overview of election systems to the board. WISD currently uses "pure large voting," where board members run for election according to schedule, but are not organized according to places. This means every candidate who signs up to run runs against every other candidate.
A second election strategy discussed is called "at-large with numbered places." This system requires running candidates to identify the place for which they indent to run. A candidate in a numbered place with no opponent could be considered unopposed and elected to office even if there are candidates registered to run in other places.
This type of election system is currently used at neighboring Red Oak and Midlothian ISD.
"If you are going to do it, it requires board action to pass a resolution to say this is what we will do it and why," Badillo explained. "If you switch to numbered places, you can't undo it and neither can a subsequent board come behind you and undo it. So it's a one-way move."
To change to numbered places, the board must vote at least 60 days before an election, which would make the deadline March 3, 2020.