Special meeting in San Benito to address results of curriculum study

    SAN BENITO — There could be some important questions answered tonight.

    In April, the Texas Association of School Administrators and the Texas Association of School Business Officials conducted a district-wide curriculum and efficiency study.

    The results of the curriculum study will be presented during a special board meeting tonight.

    It is key for any district leadership team seeking feedback on efforts to improve learning for all students.

    Superintendent Dr. Adrian Vega will present the audit findings to the board tonight.

    In June, Vega presented the findings from the efficiency audit, which produced mixed results.

    Some aspects the district excelled at, and some it did not.

    A look at the report summary presentation found that problems stemmed in all areas.

    Payroll Problems

    According to the report, the payroll calculations are not being adequately verified by a supervisor prior to generating and distributing payroll checks, the report states.

    TASBO recommends the payroll department develop written payroll processing procedures to ensure consistency in payroll processing, cross training and to ensure that adequate internal controls exist throughout the entire payroll processing process.

    While deficiencies were found in finance and payroll, staffing was also an issue.

    According to the report, the district does not have staffing guidelines to appropriately allocate personnel units to campuses or departments.

    The district does not have a standardized system to review or approve new position requests or reclassification of positions.

    Staffing Levels

    Compared to some peer districts, San Benito CISD appears to be overstaffed.

    “The district should consider conducting a staffing study with TASBO to better determine the staffing allocations of the district.

    “The district should have a standardized form and process for position requests and authorization,” the report stated.

    Attendance

    Deficiencies’ also were found in the classroom, with attendance in particular an issue that could cause several financial problems for the district.

    The district does not have an Attendance System Procedures Manual.

    TASBO’s stated the district should develop and publish an Attendance System Procedures Manual in compliance with Texas Education Agency rules to safeguard the district’s overall state revenues, which amount to approximately $79.5 million.

    If the district does not comply, that funding could be taken away.

    Internally, there are factors plaguing the district, especially enrollment.

    The district’s student enrollment has decreased every year in the past five years for an aggregate loss of 488 students.

    Consequently, the state revenue has decreased over the past five fiscal years due to the decreased student enrollment.

    However, staff in the district has increased over those years, indicative that there are no staffing guidelines to correlate staffing to student enrollment changes or requirements in operational areas.

    School district officials say they have already attempted to fix some of the issues and they plan to fix all of them.

    The information from both studies will be used to provide a better understanding of the district. The information also goes along with the district strategic plan that was just recently approved by the board.