NEWS HEADLINES

Alvord School Board drops a penny from tax rate

By Bob Buckel | Published Saturday, August 30, 2014

Thursday’s school board meeting saw a few last-minute additions to the budget, but Alvord ISD trustees were also able to drop a penny from the tax rate.

While the district’s maintenance and operations tax rate stayed the same at $1.17 per $100 value, a carryover of about $80,000 in the district’s debt service fund made it possible to lower the debt service tax rate from last year’s 19.4 cents to 18.4 cents.

That makes Alvord’s total school tax rate $1.3540.

The district’s operating budget for the 2014-15 school year is down slightly at $7,295,067, compared to $7,513,993 last year. Last year’s major parking lot paving project and bus purchases were included in that budget item.

The budget for instruction is up just over $217,000, and there is a bump in school leadership of $63,508 after the addition of an assistant principal’s position at the elementary campus.

The guidance, counseling and evaluation budget rose just over $20,000, and the extracurricular budget was up just over $60,000 with the addition of volleyball, the last-minute need for more uniforms for several sports, and the replacement of commercial washers and dryers in both field houses.

The board also approved hiring an additional pre-kindergarten teacher due to higher-than-expected enrollment. After the new teacher and aide come on board and work with the existing class for a week, the pre-K class will be split into morning and afternoon sessions.

The food service budget projects a deficit of just more than $50,000 on total revenues of $390,000. That includes $229,000 in payments from students, $2,200 in state program funds and $158,800 in federal funds.

“It’s almost impossible to budget for food service because it all depends on our kids,” Superintendent Bill Branum said. “I can’t tell you how many dollars we’re going to get.”

The deficit was $45,000 last year. Branum said if the program makes more money than he projected, the excess funds would simply go into the district’s fund balance and be there for next year.

He also noted that $40,000 from last year’s maintenance tax notes is still in reserve, to be used to pay for the greenhouse which should be installed by November.

OTHER BUSINESS

In Thursday’s meeting, the school board also:

  • heard an investment report;
  • approved an interlocal agreement with neighboring districts for transporting special-needs students;
  • approved a memorandum of understanding with Weatherford College to offer credit for college prep math and language arts courses; and
  • approved transfer students.

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