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Election Day: May 6th. Early Vote: April 24th to May 2nd.

School Safety

We need to expand our coverage time due to the recent shooting. We should have metal detectors and ensure funding is included to cover personnel costs to monitor. The backpack policy should change to a clear or mesh backpack rule like other districts have adopted. Determine if security personnel can be included in The Health and Safety Training. That training could make a difference.


We must ensure we have highly trained campus social worker counselors to assist students with mental health challenges.

2

Improve Academic Scores (get back to basics)

Since COVID, the attention span has been shortened mainly because of social media surfing. Students' minds were trained to swipe through stories quickly to get highlights on each post. Therefore, it caused the attention span to shorten and hindered focus abilities.


I firmly believe in getting back to basics in teaching, meaning live classroom instruction, hands-on
research, peer-to-peer discussions, etc. Technology is a great tool, and it has its place. However, it
should be considered as something other than the primary source to teach an in-class lesson. We also
must ensure our educators continue recognizing the learning styles (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic).

3

Educator Administrative Requirements & Staffing

Streamline educator administration requirements (paperwork); they have confided that this issue is
overwhelming. They often have to take their own time without pay to complete by target dates. Others have considered quitting and coming back as a substitute so they can focus on teaching.


We need to close the gap on bilingual teachers. We need to ensure the current pool is in the right locations. Develop incentives to attract bilingual educators. Seek out available user-friendly translation technology that will assist our non-bilingual educators.

4

Teachers' Compensation

There are 3 House Bills in front of committees during this session intending to implement this year. If the House lingers on finalizing, we must seek opportunities to close this gap. With the cost of inflation on the rise, we need to ensure our educators are compensated competitively.

 

House Bills:
HB 1548, Relating to the salary and wages paid to public school employees.
HB 1115, Relating to cost-of-living increases applicable to benefits paid by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
HB 1116, Relating to a cost-of-living adjustment applicable to certain benefits paid by the Teacher
 Retirement System of Texas, including a related study.

5

Skill Set Education

We need to expand skill set training to the JR high level to awaken the hidden talents within these kids. We are doing great things at the Career and Tech center. However, starting earlier can provide setting a foundation for our students.

6

Budget

I would propose a deep dive into what is currently funded. Review Current capital investments, facilities management, and expenses (do we need it? can we get a better price? can it be streamlined? Can it be done in-house? etc.) Prioritize opportunities based on risk, cost savings, and efficiencies. When doing a budget, we have to consider what may have made sense 2-5 years ago may not make sense to continue that path. The Board of Trustees is accountable for allocating taxpayer dollars; therefore, due diligence is imperative.

7

Ethics | House Bills

• I stand by doing what is right rather than what is popular.
• Ensure transparency is at all levels so that the voters have confidence in whom they elect.
• Ensure we are communicating in laymen’s terms.
• Congressional knowledge is key to determining impacts at the district level and how policies will be impacted.

Below are some hot topics in the legislator pipeline:
o H.R. 899: Terminates the Departments of Education on December 31, 2023
Latest Action: House - 02/09/2023 Referred to the House Committee on Education
and the Workforce.
o H.R 31 (attendance vs. enrollment funding): base the state’s public education funding
system on student enrollment instead of average attendance.
Synopsis: Texas has about 5.5 million K-12 students, but only about 92% of them
 regularly attended classes last school year. Schools missed out on millions in funding
from the remaining students. This bill would help schools receive funding for every enrolled student, regardless of attending class.
o Senate Bill 112 & 113 (TX-Mental Health): Related to the mental course for students as
graduating requirement and district reimbursement for contracted mental health providers
for on-campus services.
o Senate Bill 176 & H.B 619 & 557 (School Choice): Expansive school choice. Tax credits to individuals contributing to private school scholarship funds. Reimbursements to private school tuition parents.


LGBTQ Restrictions House Bills :
§ H.B 63 & 1155 Ban schools from teaching students K-5 about sexual orientation or gender identity. HB 1155 would extend that ban to eighth grade.
§ H.B 42: expand the state’s definition of child abuse to include providing gender-affirming health care under the guidance of a doctor or mental health care provider.

Kathi's Priorities

Kathi Arocha
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