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The Abilene ISD Board of Trustees held a combined workshop and regular meeting Monday, April 8. The evening’s agenda included:

  • Workshop overview of the fiscal year 2025 budget
  • Workshop presentation on surplus facilities
  • Student and staff recognitions
  • Construction update from Schneider Electric
  • Program report on Career and Technical Education

Fiscal Year 2025 Budget Overview (00:38)

As Abilene ISD prepares its budget for the next fiscal year, Associate Superintendent for Operations Dr. Joseph Waldron shared a snapshot into the state school finance system and its implications for the district.

Dr. Waldron shared data from a Texas Association of School Business Officials state-wide survey of school districts that found the majority of responding districts expect to make budget cuts next year, including AISD. This is due in part to a decrease in average daily attendance (ADA) which directly funds Texas public schools. AISD’s ADA has decreased by 2,135 students since 2019, equating to a loss of approximately $13.1 million in revenue. Other contributing factors include rapid inflation and the end of federal ESSER pandemic funding.

At the same time, AISD is spending historically less in payroll and expenses such as contracted services, supplies, and travel.

This presentation was the first in a series intended to inform the Board of Trustees and community throughout the budgeting process.

Surplus Facilities (20:35)

To maximize efficient use of the district’s resources, Abilene ISD made the recommendation to declare two properties as surplus. If adopted, a future board resolution would allow the district to appraise and sell the properties.

The two properties include Fannin Elementary School (located at 2726 N. 18th and originally constructed in 1951) and Woodson Early Childhood (located at 520 N. 9th and originally constructed in 1936).

Student and Staff Recognitions (34:33)

The Board of Trustees recognized the accomplishments of multiple students and staff members, including:
  • Region 14’s TEPSAN of the Year: Leslye Roberts, Taylor Elementary School
  • Region 14’s TEPSA AP of the Year: Hillary Hernandez, Dyess Elementary School
  • TASBO Purchasing Award of Merit: AISD’s purchasing team, led by Director of Purchasing Lisa Metcalf
  • UIL Congress State participants: Mo Carroll, Abilene High School; Lainey Marz, Abilene High School; Gavin Hail, ATEMS; Tristan Reyna, ATEMS
  • ATEMS State Film Team participants: Zackrey Kight, Noah Rangel, Jackson McEntyre, Nehemiah Daughtery, and Dora Crowell

Construction Update (49:44)

After five years of construction projects to modernize and improve learning environments around Abilene ISD, Schneider Electric is wrapping up its final projects. Schneider presented before and after photos of the work, including updates to LED lighting, window and door replacements, facility automation, and HVAC systems.

CTE Program Overview Report (53:28)

Director of Career and Technical Education Lucille Fullen provided an overview of Abilene ISD’s CTE programs, accomplishments and future plans. AISD currently offers more than 25 industry-based certifications available to students across 22 programs of study.

Since 2020, AISD has seen a 32 percent increase in students participating in CTE courses. A few recent CTE highlights include:

  • The Sky Cafe at The LIFT served more than 200 guests in the fall.
  • Students were awarded $323,328 in NEXTU scholarships through a partnership with the Development Corporation of Abilene.
  • Holland Medical High School will soon offer a Licensed Vocational Nursing certification program in partnership with Hendrick Health and the Texas Tech Health Science Center.