During Monday’s meeting, the Kingsville Independent School District Board of Trustees approved a student transfer and tuition agreement with Ricardo ISD for the 2019-20 school year.
The last student transfer agreement between the two school districts was in the 2015-16 school year. KISD Superintendent Elida Bera said she reached out to Ricardo ISD Superintendent Vita Canales after a parent contacted her and brought it to her attention.
“I looked at the numbers that we have,” Bera said. “We have 59 students coming in to us from Ricardo, 46 of them for the high school and 13 for our elementary schools.”
Bera said with the agreement, Kingsville ISD would provide transportation for Ricardo ISD students attending H.M. King High School, who would be picked up and dropped off at the Ricardo campus.
Elementary students will not be provided transportation through the transfer agreement, Bera said.
The board approved the agreement in a unanimous 7-0 vote.
Ricardo ISD Superintendent Vita Canales said in a statement Wednesday that her district looks forward to bringing the student transfer agreement to their school board for approval next month.
"I believe it's a win-win for both districts," Canales said.
Also in a unanimous 7-0 vote, the board rejected a transfer student agreement with Driscoll ISD for the 2019-21 school years based on travel expenses associated with transporting a small number of the district’s students to and from school.
Prior to Monday’s vote, KISD and Driscoll ISD had two-year agreements in place since the 2014-15 school year.
Bera said there are currently only two students from Driscoll ISD who are attending H.M. King High School.
Board secretary Corando Garza, who made the motion to reject the agreement, said he had a problem with the district transporting the students to and from Driscoll.
“That’s a big task that we’re taking if we’re only going to be looking at two kids going all the way to Driscoll,” he said.
Garza said while he would support any Driscoll ISD student who wants to transfer to the Kingsville ISD, the cost of fuel and wear and tear on the bus, along with the KISD being limited on bus drivers, was “just too much.”
Prior to the vote, board president Brian Coufal said the board is “not suggesting that these two students go home.”
“It is our standard practice that they can submit waivers for tuition, and we can accept them as transfer students,” Coufal said.
In an interview Tuesday, Driscoll ISD Superintendent Cynthia Garcia said she had met with Bera in March about the student transfer agreement and sent a copy approved by their school board for consideration.
Garcia said she was not aware the agreement was on the KISD school board’s agenda for Monday.
“I was also unaware that the agreement was rejected as no one from KISD has contacted me to date,” she said. “Driscoll ISD is thrilled to continue the longstanding relationship with Bishop High School in Bishop CISD.”
Anthony Ruiz can be contacted at email@example.com or (361) 221-0251.