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New KISD $41.8M budget, tax rate passed

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Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2019 12:00 am

Kerrville ISD trustees adopted the 2019-20 budget for the school district at the July 22 meeting by a unanimous vote, following a presentation and a public hearing at which no citizen asked to speak.

The adopted budget is balanced at $41,757,001; and Jarrett Jachade and Superintendent Mark Foust told trustees and the staff members attending that this will require no use of the district’s fund balance.

Jarrett Jachade presented an overview, beginning with a pie chart of 2020 revenue sources of 66 percent local, 1 percent federal and the balance of 33 percent state funds. He said school district budgets are made up of three sections – maintenance and operations; interest and sinking (debt), and food service.

The M&O portion includes personnel, materials and supplies, technology, equipment and utilities.

The proposed Kerrville ISD tax rate for the coming year is $0.97 for M&O plus $0.20 for I&S, for a total of $1.17 per $100 valuation. The past year’s rate was $1.18 per $100.

One of his bar charts compared KISD’s property tax base history from 2010-11 to the proposed tax base for the coming year. The bars showed the largest portion as net taxable value, with much smaller sections for “statutory exemptions” and the “over 65 loss.”

They used a pie chart to show how the $41.8 million would be spent, and the largest portion by far goes to salaries.

The other expenses are contracted services and supplies, plus an “other” category for operating costs and capital outlay.

New state legislation

The 300-page House Bill 3 that revised state funding for schools this coming year is still being analyzed by school officials around the state, but Jachade said, “To say we are relieved is an understatement.”

On the revenue side, he said they expect local revenue of $27,448,000; state revenue of $13,759,000; and federal revenue of $550,000.

The total is that $41.8 million; and of that, $32.7 million goes to payroll.

Jachade said this budget includes a net increased state revenue to the Kerrville school district of $3,169,000.

But he said they also have student counts of 50 students less in 2018-19 than the year before. Jachade called this a small decline, but a decline in student population nonetheless.

Jachade said the legislation includes a stipulation that 30 percent of the state funds be used for pay raises, but also says “prioritizing differentiated compensation” for experienced teachers, meaning pay increases given to experienced teachers would be higher than to other teachers and staff.

The Texas Education Agency in Austin is releasing lots of information, he said, but not all of it at once; and he said Monday they expect future guidance on the reporting requirement included in the bill.

TEA Template

Administrators included a slide titled “Kerrville ISD’s TEA State Template” and Superintendent Dr. Mark Foust said they are basing the figures in this list on a guess until they get more final numbers later in the school year.

This list starts with the 2018-19 total M&O State Aid of $7,799,404; and total M&O tax collections of $27,272,000 and continues through 18 lines.

Jachade pointed out a line titled Total Gain with the dollar figure of $3,119,855 and said that was the actual gain in funds to KISD for the coming year.

He added, if KISD’s attendance increases, the amount of state money also will increase.

Trustees questioned Foust and Jachade then to ask if Kerrville ISD was going to be still subject to the Chapter 41 “Robin Hood” law that previously required richer school districts to return funds to the state to be distributed to poorer districts. Foust said KISD recently got a letter telling him that Chapter 41 would not apply to this district.

Foust and Jachade said they plan to abide by the new legislation’s minimum 30 percent for pay increases to teachers, librarians, counselors and nurses; and to other staff.

For KISD that means 51 percent or $1,000,000 will go to the first four kinds of instructors; and $500,000 will be given to other staff – more than the new state law requires.

On KISD’s exact teacher payroll schedule that takes years of experience into account, they said the pay raises will range from 4.44 percent to 7.06 percent, and average 6.2 percent.

Other pay increases would be given to such staffers as transportation, maintenance, clerical/paraprofessional staff, and adminis- trative staff such as athletic trainers, technology, counselors, nurses and others.

At the July 22 meeting, they also discussed health insurance costs and the district’s contributions to those costs for employees, saying they can increase the district’s contribution for the third year in a row from $340 to $352.

Under “2019-20 Budget Highlights,” the presentation showed the tax rate slightly decreasing from $1.18 per $100 valuation to $1.17.

They plan increased special education staffing across campuses.

The balanced budget does not utilize reserves; “we’re fortunate for this,” Jachade said.

They foresee expanded technology support for staff and students, along with professional development.

Bond 2018 Program

Foust provided an update for trustees on the bond issue program.

He said two “safety packages” that include vestibules are scheduled to be completed by August.

The phase for roofs, HVAC and MEP are expected to be completed by December next year.

New construction to build Hal Peterson Middle School has a calendar that includes 95 percent of construction documents being given to the construction manager this week.

Bid opening is expected Aug. 20, and board approval for the “guaranteed maximum price” is expected Sept. 16.

Foust said he still plans ground-breaking for the new HPMS on Sept. 24, followed by 19 months of construction. He expects final completion in May 2021, and said they are planning summer school and STEM activities in the new building.

Other business

Trustees approved the addition of two new courses at Tivy High School for students in special education settings.

Those courses are a one-credit career and technical education course titled “General Employability Skills” for grades nine through 12; and a half-credit for “Peer Assistance for Students with Disabilities I and II,” for grades 11 and 12.

Trustees also got information about preliminary State Accountability Data, and the end of Year Algebraic Readiness Report.

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