VISD board adopts attendance zone map, hires superintendent search firm

  • APARTMENT COMPLEX TAX CREDIT

  • Lee Keeling, of Walter Keeling Law Firm, approached the board in open forum to ask that it consider adding an agenda item to a special meeting.Keeling represents Indiana-based Pedcor Investments, which is seeking to build an affordable housing complex ...

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  • APARTMENT COMPLEX TAX CREDIT

    Lee Keeling, of Walter Keeling Law Firm, approached the board in open forum to ask that it consider adding an agenda item to a special meeting.Keeling represents Indiana-based Pedcor Investments, which is seeking to build an affordable housing complex in the 5300 block of John Stockbauer Drive. Pedcor is seeking tax credit points that would make the company competitive for federal housing tax credits.The Victoria City Council passed resolutions Tuesday granting Pedcor 19 out of the 20 points it requested.Pedcor hopes to approach VISD for that last point, which would be for revitalization efforts.The VISD board would have to call a special meeting to consider the proposal before Pedcor's March 1 deadline.Lee Keeling is the husband of Board President Tami Keeling. She would not participate in discussions or a vote about Pedcor's proposal.

The Victoria school board voted at a special meeting Thursday to adopt a map that will change attendance zones for about 469 students.

The new maps are created every two years in an effort to keep the populations, demographics and socioeconomic statuses balanced at all VISD campuses.

"We told the voters when we passed the bond this was going to happen every two years," said Vice President Bernard Klimist. "There is no good solution. Families get moved, kids get moved . but it's a decision we have to make because if we don't, the government is going to make it for us."

Klimist also called for the administration to have the power to grant leniency on some transfers that would add particular hardships to families. Students entering the fifth and eighth grades would not be required to change schools under the new map, which goes into effect in the coming school year.

Mostly elementary schools would be affected by the zoning changes, though some middle school students would move campuses based on changes to feeder schools.

"I think we took the best stops that possibly could be done to even out the enrollment and divide things up," said board member Lou Svetlik.

The board had been considering the map since its Jan. 19 meeting and held a public forum on the topic.

Thursday night, the board also voted to hire a national superintendent search firm after Bob Moore announced Monday he would not return next school year because of health concerns.

"If we have to, we must," Board Secretary Estella De Los Santos said about hiring the firm.

Each member expressed regret at Moore's departure. The board voted to hire BWP and Associates, of Liberty, Ill., which is the same search firm VISD used when hiring Moore.

The consulting fee is $11,900 plus expenses like postage or secretarial support.

The first step BWP will take in the selection process will be to interview board members, staff and community residents to prepare a leadership profile. The company will publish national ads for the vacancy.