Meet the Needville ISD school board

The Needville ISD School Board reorganized at last week’s meeting, following the May 1 General Election. From left are Superintendent Curtis Rhodes, assistant secretary Tim Sbrusch, Vice President Kim Janke, Trustee Glenn Vecera, President Chris Janicek, trustees John West and Chase Raska, and secretary Scott Valchar.

The renewal of Needville ISD’s contract with SSC Services for Education for custodial services was approved by the board, as was the annual contract with Damon ISD for transfer students.

Darius Malachowski, SSC’s senior operations manager for Southeast Texas, told the trustees his company has “had quite a significant problem staffing” this year, and said they want to raise the average budgeted salary from $8.25 to $9.25 per hour.

The board agreed to cover 75 percent of that cost, rather than the usual annual Consumer Index Price increase, which is currently at 2.6 percent.

The increase is estimated to be about $2,986 per month.

Because Damon ISD does not have a high school, its students in grades nine through 12 may attend either Columbia-Brazoria ISD or Needville ISD, with the majority choosing the latter.

Needville ISD and Damon ISD have maintained a contract for secondary education services for years. Rhodes said the Texas Education Agency (TEA) sets the tuition rate, which is paid annually.

The rate for the 2020-2021 school year is $4,043 per student, meaning $185,978 is due for the 46 Damon ISD students attending NISD this school year.

Those funds are reimbursable to Damon ISD by the TEA. Due to COVID last March, NISD did not process the invoices, waiting on direction of TEA. The TEA has now approved the processing and will fund Damon ISD, which will, in turn, will make payments to Needville ISD.

The total three-year balance of $528,885 includes the 2018-2019, 2019-2020 and 2020-21 school years.

Rhodes said the TEA will pay the $39,697 Damon ISD owes for the 2018-2019 school year and the $303,210 it owes for the 2019-2020 school year in a lump sum and will pay the due for 2020-2021 monthly over the next few months. NISD trustees agreed to renew its contract with DISD.

“I appreciate Damon ISD for submitting all the documentation necessary to claim these funds,” Rhodes said. “Both districts will truly benefit from the funds provided by TEA.”

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