Proposed BISD budget won’t require tax rate hike
by Scott Reese Willey
Aug 13, 2009 | 1420 views | 2 2 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Beeville public school trustees met Tuesday to review a proposed budget that includes funding for new band uniforms and computers for faculty and staff — without a tax rate hike.

The board also reviewed a proposed tax rate to help finance the spending plan.

The proposed tax rate and budget will finance school district operations and maintenance, and pay long-term debts, over the next 12 months.

Trustees agreed to hold a public hearing on the proposed budget and tax rate on Tuesday, Aug. 25.

The hearing, to be held at school district headquarters, begins at 5:30 p.m.

After the hearing, trustees are scheduled to hold a regular board meeting, at which time they will consider adopting the proposed tax rate and budget.

The proposed spending plan calls for the school district to spend the same amount of money it receives over the next 12 months: roughly $24 million.

“It’s a balanced budget,” finance director Linda O’Connell explained to the school board. “We had to take $50,000 out of (the) fund balance to balance the budget but the budget is balanced.”

BISD has just more than $7 million in its fund balance, often referred to as a reserve fund.

The school district is required to keep three months operating expenses in its fund balance for times of emergencies. BISD requires about $2 million per month to maintain and operate schools.

O’Connell said the $50,000 will be spent on purchasing new computers for faculty and staff. The budget also includes another $110,000 for computer replacements.

O’Connell said the school district’s master plan calls for BISD to replace computers every three years.

BISD was supposed to replace the personnel computers last year — the third year of the program — but funding wasn’t available.

The proposed 2009-10 budget also includes some $54,000 for new band uniforms and additional funding for fuel and substitute teacher pay.

Included in the $24 million spending plan is $1.3 million in federal stimulus funding allocated for employee pay raises during the 2009-10 school year.

BISD Superintendent Dr. John Hardwick Jr. has said in the past that he is worried that the school district will have to pick up the recurring cost of employee pay raises if the federal stimulus money is not sent down every year from now on.

BISD trustees reviewed a proposed tax rate of $1.32 per $100 value. Of that amount, roughly $1.04 per $100 value is earmarked for maintaining and operating campuses. The remaining 28 cents is allocated toward paying off long-term debt.

BISD also charged taxpayers $1.04 for every $100 worth of property they owned last year for maintenance and operations. However, property values have increased since then and BISD will actually generate more tax revenue at the same tax rate.

Hardwick said BISD is faring better than many other similar-sized school districts statewide when it comes to finances, mostly because the community “bought into” a strategic plan that called for consolidating campuses three years ago.

That consolidation has allowed BISD to maintain a healthy fund balance, he said.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
August 19, 2009
Black is not a color. Could you explain what “ogange” is, perhaps a color approved by those such as yourself? Your chosen uniform is white sheets and pointed hat. I’m positive you will respond under one of your many, many other names like the ****** you are, as I have proven repeatedly.

August 18, 2009
It is good that the band will be getting rid of the ugly, non school color black uniforms. Did the school change the school colors and not tell us? I thought that the school colors were Texas Ogange and White. Why is there so much black in the school uniforms? Who approves these uniforms? If they want black uniforms, they need to through the proper channels to have the school colors officially changed. This is not only for the band, but athletics, cheerleading, drill team and any other club in BISD.