MILLSAP – Millsap ISD board of trustees approved a resolution to pay off bond debt, totaling $735,000, during the school board meeting on Monday evening at Millsap Administration Board Room/Media Center.

The debt was paid for using interest and sinking tax revenue and about $357,000 from the interest and sinking fund balance, Superintendent Deann Lee said.

“That’ll still leave us about $970,000 in our I&S fund balance, so we’re still in good shape,” Lee said.

MISD is planning to save almost $91,000 in future interest costs by paying off the debt early, Lee said. The district’s first opportunity to redeem the bonds is in February, but the board had to call for that in advance.

Earlier this year, the school board approved lowering the I&S tax rate by 2 cents.

Board Secretary Jerry Walker pointed out that the I&S fund balance and tax revenue can only be used to pay off district debt.

“Always remember there’s two buckets — there’s the I&S bucket, interest and sinking, which we can only use to pay bonds; there’s the maintenance and operations bucket, which is what we use to operate the school with,” Walker said. “This money is coming out of interest and sinking, so the money that’s in that fund balance could not be used for teachers, electric bills. It can only be used to pay bonds.”

Walker described the board’s action as a “great day in Millsap.”

“God is good and the community is good and the leadership is good,” Walker said.

Trustees also approved members on the Safety and Security Committee and the Millsap Elementary School Targeted Improvement Plan. They also heard reports on Millsap Middle School, technology and transportation.

The board approved the district’s goals and strategies. The five goals are:

• Providing premier academic and co-curricular programs.

• Recruiting, developing and retaining high quality and motivated staff.

• Providing a safe, nurturing learning experience.

• Ensuring financial integrity.

• Partnering with community members and parents.

Each goal includes three or more strategies to meet the goal. For the goal of academic and co-curricular programs, the strategies mostly pertain to curriculum, instruction, programs, support and innovative learning experiences needed for student success.

The goal about having high quality staff includes strategies about employing certified employees and providing a teacher mentorship program and professional development and training.

To meet student safety goals, MISD proposed rehearsing and communicating safety plans, providing drug, alcohol, violence prevention and digital safety programs, and addressing bullying or disruptive behavior with notification systems or interventions.

The financial integrity goal has strategies related to effective budgeting and increasing average daily attendance.

Finally, MISD plans to meet its goal about community and parental partnerships by increasing student attendance, effectively communicating and providing programming for students, parents, and community through the after school program.

The next MISD school board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 18.

Madelyn Edwards is a staff writer for the Weatherford Democrat, a sister publication of the Mineral Wells Index.

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