With many local public institutions staring at budget deficits due to the weak economy, the Paradise School Board received some welcome news at Monday’s meeting.
“We’re projecting that we will have a balanced budget,” said Robert Criswell, chief financial officer for the district.
Criswell said that while preliminary property values released by Wise County Chief Appraiser Mickey Hand showed about a $10 million decrease in values, those numbers have now been adjusted, and the district could see an increase in values. The certified values are expected to be released later this week.
Those values coupled with the tax rate determine the bulk of the district’s revenue.
Pending those certified values, the district might be able to lower the debt service portion of the tax rate by 2 cents, Criswell said. The board and administrators will work on a proposed budget and tax rate over the next few weeks before holding a public hearing.
In other business, the board heard a report on preliminary Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test results. Joyce Hardy, district assessment coordinator, said based on the scores, the district hopes the elementary and intermediate schools will be rated “exemplary” and the junior high and high school “recognized” by the Texas Education Agency. Those ratings are expected to be released later this month.
The board also:
- heard in a construction report that the football stadium, daycare facility and maintenance shop projects are on schedule for completion by Aug. 1.
- adopted changes to the student handbook and code of conduct;
- awarded a bid for lawn care to Cutting Edge of Paradise; and
- adopted changes to the acceptable use policy and leave policy.