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Trustees adopt budget, tax rate

by Dolores Hamilton
The Iowa Park CISD school board adopted its budget for the 2012-2013 school year and the tax rate for 2012 Thursday night following public hearings.

The new budget has $15,255,900 in revenue and $15,520,957 in expenditures, leaving a deficit of $265,057 which is $36,349 lower than the projected deficit last year.

During the public hearing on the budget, School Superintendent Jerry Baird touched on some of the highlights. “As you can see, we are very fortunate this year that we have an increase in local revenue over last year,” he said. “It increased $472,965, or a little over eight percent. That certainly helps.” Baird said revenue from the state has increased a little over last year, but the state’s stimulus funds are no longer given to us.

“This budget pretty much mirrors last year’s budget,” Baird continued. Increases include fuel costs, funding for the Special Eduction Coop and AEP, and the debt service fund that includes the payment on the bond issue.

The budget includes $100,000 in capital outlay for a new school bus and $100,000 in pay raises for employees who are not on the state step schedule.

Baird said the greatest part of the budget, approximately 75 percent is for instruction.

Board President Steve Fairchild asked what determines the amount of revenue the school district receives from the state. “The key to state revenue in any school budget in Texas anymore is student enrollment,” Baird replied. “Our enrollment is up a little bit from last year and if we can keep it at that level, it’s a good thing.”

Tax Assessor/Collector Jonathan Clubb spoke during the public hearing on the proposed tax rate. “Our proposed tax rate is $1.28, it’s what you proposed, it’s what we published,” he told the trustees. “It’s going to put us right about the middle of the area school districts. There’s a few higher than we are, there’s some a little lower than we are, but overall we came in six cents less than what we had told everybody - so that’s pretty exciting.”

In other business, Baird said that due to a shortage of certified personnel with the Iowa Park Volunteer Fire Department, they can no longer provide paramedic services at the football games. He said an agreement has been made with Louis Skinner to provide that service and he will have two certified paramedics at all ball games.

Baird also told the trustees that he would like to have K-2 (artificial marijuana) added to the school’s drug testing program. He said it would be added to the agenda for the next meeting for their consideration.

A report was given on updates taking place on the different campuses. New lockers installed and other work on the dressing rooms at the middle school has been done, but the work is still in progress. The old insulation from the elementary gyms has been removed and replaced with spray foam, and the gyms have been painted. Work on security updates and internet wiring will begin before long.

Four Special Education Aides were hired, two for the middle school and two for Bradford Elementary. Braden Perry and Erin Whedbee will be at the middle school, and Debra Bia and Geanice Adkins will be at Bradford.

The resignation of Frances Payne, Special Education Aide at middle school, was accepted.

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