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    JISD Superintendent Dwain Milam speaks to school board about the schools response to COVID-19 during their board meeting March17. Photo/Nathan Lawson

JISD board approves COVID-19 pay resolution

The Jacksboro ISD school board approved a resolution which will give superintendent Dwain Milam the power to continue paying all hourly workers in full as well as a host of other responsibilities.

Milam said the recommendation for the resolution came from the district’s general counsel, Shellie Crow.

The resolution states there will be a continuation of wage payments to all employees as it will the serve the public purposes of maintaining morale, reducing turnover and ensuring continuity of district staffing when school reopens.

“This will relieve a lot of anxiety by our staff members who just don’t know,” Milam said. “My concern is, and she spells it out in the first page, we have got some really strong hourly folks that have been to a lot training and do a really good job. I don’t want them to panic thinking ‘wow, I am working a less numbers of hours. I can’t live on that, so I’m going to go take a job somewhere else.’”

The resolution will give Milam the power to make any changes to Jacksboro ISD’s 2019-2020 as needed.

“I don’t plan on doing anything like that unless it just absolutely has to be done before having a regular meeting,” Milam said.

The superintendent will also have the authority to create guidelines and make decisions regarding paid leave for any employee who is quarantined due COVID-19.

Milam was granted the authority to seek any waivers from the Texas Education Agency without further action from the board regarding missed instructional days, low attendance or any matters related to the current emergency closure.

The resolution also allows for temporary suspension of the Texas Public Information Act during the current closure. However, Milam does not foresee needing to use it.

The superintendent will also have the authority to act in place of the board to procure any needed services during the closure.

“That would be in the event that we are in this thing two to three weeks and we realize ‘oh my gosh, we don’t have kids with internet access still,’” Milam said. “A vendor comes along and we can buy hot spots for example that we could distribute.”

The board unanimously approved the resolution during its meeting Tuesday, March 17.

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