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Texarkana Independent School District's board of directors approved a resolution Tuesday to issue a $5 million maintenance tax note to upgrade existing facilities.

"This alternative funding note will create a source of revenue for the purposes of replacing and/or upgrading facilities and equipment," Superintendent Paul Norton said. "It cannot be used for new construction and must replace/upgrade within the exact same footprint that currently is in existence."

The funds will be used to renovate the construction technology building to be used as a testing center, a multi-functioning dance studio for the drill and cheer teams, and a new home for TigerVision. Various athletic facilities will also be upgraded, band uniforms will be replaced and technology will be upgraded districtwide.

Tax rates will not increase, but will remain the same at $1.425 per $100 in property valuation.

In other business, the board approved the 2018-19 school calendar. The first day of school will be Aug. 15 with the last day of school scheduled for May 23, 2019. The full calendar is available on the district website and on social media.

Trustees also approved the 2018-19 budget calendar. The first budget reading will be held April 17, with a public hearing on the budget, proposed tax rate and final approval scheduled for June 26.

The 2018-19 program of studies and course descriptions for Texas Middle School were also approved. New courses include art history for grades six and seven, four additional drone courses for eighth grade; conversational Spanish for eighth grade; and S.W.A.T robotics in eighth grade, which is open only to those students who have done competitive robotics during the seventh grade. TMS offers 146 courses for students with 36 pre-advanced placement courses available.

Members also approved several vendor proposals for athletics and cheer equipment, supplies and uniforms, child nutrition equipment repairs, school grocery and merchandise needs, and signage. Seven resolutions were also passed for the district to join assorted purchasing alliances.

The board also adopted a contract and passed a resolution between TISD and Red Lick ISD for the education of students residing within its borders who are at grade levels not offered by Red Lick.

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