Thursday, July 16, 2009

TX: GISD trustees appraised of budget, corporal punishment policy

Herald-Banner Staff

GREENVILLE The Greenville Independent School District board of trustees met privately for 50 minutes with an attorney Tuesday night to discuss the district’s corporal punishment policy and to review the drug testing policy.

Prior to the executive session, superintendent Don Jefferies said he had asked for the meeting. He said he had questions about whether teachers could defend themselves in the classroom.I asked the attorney to come. I felt pretty good that we have protected our teachers, and was assured that is the case,” Jefferies said.

After the closed session, the district’s attorney, Marianna McGowan, said the district prohibited corporal punishment but said the law, “provides protection for a teacher who uses reasonable and necessary force,” to disarm a student or end a classroom disturbance. “You can’t terminate them for that,” she added.

Board president Charles Sivley said that the drug testing policy was reviewed in executive session but did not elaborate. The board adopted a random drug testing policy for students at its May 19 meeting.

District Chief Financial Officer Shelly Tubbs presented a budget workshop and said the district aims to have a balanced budget during the 2009-10 fiscal year. “One-third to one-half of the districts in the state won’t be able to do that,” she said. “There are no guarantees, but I think we will be able to pull that off.”

Other topics upon which Tubbs touched included the decline of Average Daily Attendance in the district from 4,723 in 2005-06, to 4646 in 2006-07, to 4,442 in 2007-08 down to 4,377 in the most recent school year. She said the proposed staff in the 2009-10 school year is 763 employees, an increase of 3.25 position from last school year. According to Tubbs, the district will receive $2,360,949 in stimulus funding. In addition to programs, the federal stimulus funds will pay the salaries of 23 staff members and Tubbs said that would need to be addressed soon, as the stimulus funds will be nearly exhausted.

The board is scheduled to hold another budget workshop next week.

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