By Gaige Davila
In an uncontested race, Point Isabel Independent School District (PI-ISD) has reelected one member of its school board and elected another.
Frank Davalos, Jr. is now serving on Place 6 of the PI-ISD school board, formerly held by Board President Jennifer Pinkerton. Cecilia Castillo, the Board Assistant Secretary in Place 7, was reelected. The elections were recognized during a May 5 school board meeting.
“This community and this district has been very good to me,” Davalos told the PRESS, regarding his reasons for running for PI-ISD’s school board. “It’s time I give back. I’m ready to be a voice and serve the community.”
Davalos previously served on the Town of Laguna Vista’s council for six years, and currently sits on the Laguna Madre Youth Center’s board. Davalos says he wants to “restore excellence,” when asked what areas he would like to address in the district for the upcoming school year.
“We know what it looks like, and I believe our district can achieve it again,” he said.
Davalos said his experience as a student of the district gives him a “unique and valuable voice” on the school board.
Castillo told the PRESS she also wants to “strive for excellence” for the school district.
“Because of this pandemic, my immediate focus and goal is to reduce any immediate negative impact it has had on our students and staff,” Castillo said, mentioning the COVID-19 pandemic that had made Texas Governor Greg Abbott to close schools statewide for the rest of the school year.
Castillo says she will work to reduce the “Chapter 41” payment to the state, and upgrade facilities within the district “without increasing our tax rate.”
A “Chapter 41” payment, also called the “Robin Hood” plan, refers to Chapter 49 of the Texas Education Code, which outlines how local property taxes are “recaptured” from wealthy school districts, such as PI-ISD, and given to lower income districts, creating equitable school financing.
Property taxes pay around 64 percent of school financing in the state, according to the Texas Comptroller.
In 2019, $18,526,179 was “recaptured” from property taxes paid to PI-ISD, Texas Education Agency records show.
Castillo said she would like to see a natatorium, an indoor swimming facility, within the district.
PI-ISD’s school board cancelled their May 2 election on April 18, recognizing the candidates were running unopposed.