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Students first: Bidgeport ISD takes conservative approach in budget talks

By Austin Jackson | Published Wednesday, August 8, 2018
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Bridgeport ISD is proposing a conservative budget with enrollment numbers in flux and delinquent tax payments at an 11-year high.

At last week’s school board meeting tax collection for 2017 was reported at 97 percent, compared to its usual 99 percent, and enrollment could be down, based on participation in the district’s enrollment fairs.

Bridgeport Superintendent Brandon Peavey said the unfavorable reports would not directly impact students as their needs were made top priority, above transportation and technology.

The school board is moving forward with hiring an additional school resource officer, starting a mariachi band, creating a drone program and funding other STEM projects.

“In this budget, we financed everything that relates to the kids,” Peavey said. “We had to make some cuts to technology and upgrading our buses. If a bus breaks down, we’ll have to address it. But the buses are running now, and the technology is adequate.”

School board members voted 6-0 to keep the tax rate at $1.2482 per $100 property valuation.

Payroll made up 78 percent of Bridgeport ISD’s proposed $18,730,225 expenses. Contracted services came in at 10 percent, while other operating costs, supplies and debt services followed in at single digits. There are no capital outlay expenses in the proposed budget.

Revenues for the district’s budget were primarily funded at the local level, bringing in 77 percent of the proposed $26,000,442 in revenues. State revenue represented 17 percent, while federal revenue made up 11 percent.

Additionally, demographics for Bridgeport ISD are expected to change with 68 percent of students being categorized as economically disadvantaged compared to 61 percent in 2017-18.

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