Board Notes: February 27, 2024

Presentations and Recognitions

Denton ISD Purchasing Department Honored with Statewide Award
Denton ISD’s Purchasing Department has been recognized by the Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO) with a 2024 Award of Merit for Purchasing Operations. The Award of Merit was established in 2009 to recognize Texas school districts that are committed to following professional standards in the acquisition of goods and services.

Each year, volunteers with the TASBO Purchasing and Supply Management Research Committee evaluate the award criteria to ensure it represents the latest best practices. They then review new and recertification applications.

For 2024, Denton ISD was one of only 77 recipients that met the stringent criteria to qualify for the award. Members of Denton ISD’s Purchasing Department were honored at an awards reception on Feb. 21 in Houston during the 2024 TASBO annual conference. 

Denton ISD Receives $46,423 Rebate from BuyBoard
Denton ISD has received a $46,423 rebate from BuyBoard for purchases made in 2022-2023. The BuyBoard National Purchasing Cooperative is a cooperative formed by governmental entities to streamline the buying process for public schools, municipalities and other governmental entities.

Developed to assist members in complying with their purchasing legal requirements, BuyBoard vendors have been awarded contracts for products and services through a competitive procurement process, thereby giving members the opportunity for bulk discounts, combined with the ease of online, web-based shopping.

For purchases to qualify for potential rebates, members must indicate on the purchase order that a BuyBoard contract was used, and then send the purchase order to BuyBoard. In 2020-21, BuyBoard returned its largest rebate to date – more than $10.7 million – to 987 Cooperative members across Texas, including public schools, colleges and universities, and local governmental entities. Since 2006, more than $80 million has been rebated to eligible members.

Denton Public School Foundation Receives $35,000 Donation from CoServ for Student Scholarships, Teacher Grants
The Denton Public School Foundation (DPSF) has received a $35,000 donation from CoServ that will be used for student scholarships and teacher grants. CoServ is a longtime supporter of Denton ISD, and its latest donation will continue to impact classrooms.

Last fall, DPSF awarded $142,869 across 139 different scholarships and classroom grants during its annual prize pep rally. The 139 scholarships and grants were awarded to 165 Denton ISD teachers and staff members across 42 campuses. 

Discussion of 2024-2025 Budget
Jennifer Stewart, Executive Director of Budget, provided an update on the 2024-2025 budget. Ms. Stewart led the debt service discussion, including the changes since last June, the opportunities seen in the debt service side with interest earnings and budget planning for FY 24-25.

Ms. Stewart explained changes associated with Senate Bill 2, including the homestead exemption being raised from $40,000 to $100,000, which causes a loss of value on the tax rolls. Due to that, the Hold Harmless Provision was written into this bill that provided some relief to schools on the debt service side to make up the difference. Ms. Stewart also explained that the bill included a lowered frozen levy for the over 65 and disabled population.

Ms. Stewart further detailed that fluctuation in Denton ISD’s Tax Year Values for 2023 since adopting the budget. The team estimated the growth in value at 18 percent. After the first preliminary values increased its value to 35.5 percent, the homestead exemptions were factored in to finalize the supplemental rolls, after all exemptions, at 12.1 percent. Ms. Stewart explained the total revenue for FY 23-24 is $154.6 million. The scheduled bond payments for FY 23-24 were $147.1 million. The district had the opportunity, when the resolution came back in the fall, to prepay bond debt in the amount of $7.5 million. 

Ms. Stewart further detailed the Fund Balance History over the past 7 years, in addition to what it will be at the end of this year. Her team estimated that Denton ISD will have a fund balance of $117.4 million at the end of the current fiscal year. This allotment will cover the August 2024 bond payments. Ms. Stewart continued to share the updated savings to the taxpayers over the past 19 years. Since 2005, the total tax payer savings is $316.9 million.

When planning for next year, Ms. Stewart and her team are estimating a 10 percent growth in property values. In that plan, assuming there are no changes to the debt service tax rate and the current debt service obligations, the team is anticipating to pay an additional $15.2 million towards future bond payments. Ms. Stewart finished her presentation by stating, “One of our budget priorities is to protect teaching and learning.”

Discussion of 2024-2025 Open and Closed Campuses for Transfers 
Dr. Leslie Guajardo, Director of District and Student Support Services, provided a summary of Denton ISD’s functional capacity and projected enrollment data for the 2024-2025 school year.

The current designed capacity number is 740 for elementary schools, 1000 for middle schools, 2400 for Denton High School and Ryan High School, and 2800 for Braswell High School and Guyer High School. According to board policy, elementary buildings shall be closed to transfers when campus enrollment reaches 85% of the calculated maximum capacity. A secondary building shall be closed to transfers when campus enrollment reaches 90% of the calculated maximum capacity. 

In collaboration with Academic Programs, the Business Office and Human Resources, 2024-2025 projection numbers were determined for Denton ISD schools. Based on these projected numbers, the following elementary schools will be open for transfers: Bell, Martinez, Paloma Creek, Alexander, Borman, Sam Houston, W.S. Ryan, Adkins, Blanton, E.P. Rayzor, Hawk, McNair, Nelson and Stephens. At the high school level, Denton High School will be open to transfers.  

Intruder Detection Audit Report
Denton ISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jamie Wilson provided an update on the recent Intruder Detection Audits conducted by the Texas School Safety Center. Further detail was provided to the board in executive session for safety and security.