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Board changes maintenance service, signs resolution

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Livingston ISD LogoBy Brian Besch
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The Livingston school board gathered for a special meet Monday to approve negotiations and sign a resolution.

The board authorized LISD Superintendent Dr. Brent Hawkins to negotiate a service contract with Direct Solutions for district facilities, including maintenance, custodial, and grounds. Livingston ISD had a contract with SSC for the past five years.

A resolution was approved concerning vouchers, education savings accounts and taxpayer savings grants. A growing number of states have begun similar programs, and Texas Senators have put forth a proposal to allow students to use taxpayer funds on private school tuition. The legislation would create education savings accounts of up to $8,000 that families can put toward tuition, books and uniforms.

Included in the resolution was that public schools adhere to state-mandated academic and financial accountability standards, accept every student, and that school choice already exists in Texas via public schools, charter schools, transfers, home schools, virtual schools and private schools.

The resolution continued that education savings accounts and similar voucher “schemes” eliminate public accountability of school and tax dollars, and that using tax dollars to pay for tuition at private and religious schools would “grow into a costly entitlement program.”

The resolution reads that a voucher program would reduce the amount of state funds available for all schools, harming many rural Texas communities where most families have few options. It finally called on the Texas Legislature to reject any diversion of public dollars to private entities.

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