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New IPCISD budget should be in the black

by Dolores Hamilton
The Iowa Park CISD School Boar received good news Thursday night when they learned that for the first time in several years the school’s budget for 2017-18 will be in the black, with the proposed tax rate to remain unchanged at $1.33.
“We haven’t seen that in several years, as appraised values have been dropping the last four years,” said Superintendent Steve Moody. “This year’s appraisals are up about $15-million.” He also credited the increase in student enrollment and the Tax Ratification Election approved by local voters which allows the school district to receive additional funds from the state. Finance Director Sharon Godwin agreed saying, “It hasn’t been this good in a long time.”
Moody also said that the current year’s budget was expected to be deficit. “But it looks like we will come out breaking even, and one of the reasons is the increase in students.”
Total revenue for the 2017-18 budget is estimated to be $18,411,798, with $18,219,527 in expenditures.
On August 29 there will be a public meeting to discuss the budget and proposed tax rate, followed by the board voting on approval of the budget and tax rate.
At the beginning of the meeting Howard McDermis with the Arconic Foundation presented a grant for $25,000 to the school’s robotics program. He said so far this year the Foundation has given grants in the community amounting to $170,000. Their focus is on steel and 70 percent of their grants go to steel related projects.
Joann Hawkins, math and robotics teacher, said the money would pay for small robots for the middle school, tools, practice equipment and other needs.
Trustees approved the Student Code of Conduct, Student Handbooks, and Ag Science Facility Rules and Regulations for 2017-18. They also voted to approve the Employee Handbook for 2017-18, TTESS calendar for teacher appraisals, and Wichita County Extension Adjunct Faculty agreement.
Preliminary STAAR/EOC results were presented by Jodi Schlaud who said that Iowa Park students met or exceeded scores in the region and state.
The board members conducted the second reading of TASB Policy Update 108.
The TASB group was approved as the school’s insurance carrier, and the firms of Leasor Cross and Walsh Gallegos Trevino Russo and Kyle were selected to be retained for school attorney legal service.
A contractual agreement with Vernon College for the Nursing Program for 2017-18 was approved.
In his report Moody said all schools would release two hours early on the first day of school, and Tim Kingcade reported on maintenance projects his workers had completed over the summer.
After meeting in closed session, trustees accepted the resignations of Lori Blake, middle school teacher; Tessy Cole, Bradford aide; Kayla Lalumia, middle school aide; and Billy Perkins, high school teacher/coach.
They voted to hire Rachel Dalgity, middle school special education aide; Rebecca Nemetz, middle school special education aide; Taylor Reid, middle school special education aide; Sherry Gilmore, middle school special education aide; and Baleigh Mahler, Bradford PE aide.