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Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company

C-OCISD budget cuts exceed $1.2 million
San Jacinto News- Times

COLDSPRING -- A budget plan shrinking 2011-2012 expenditures by $1.268 million received grim approval by Coldspring-Oakhurst Consolidated Independent School District trustees meeting in regular session. To increase revenue, trustees also approved an inter-district transfer policy to permit admission of out-of-district students to COCISD. The action, if successful, would increase average daily attendance revenue from the State to the District. Both measures result from anticipated cuts in State funding for the next biennium. COCISD could lose up to $2.7 million in a “worst-case” scenario. To prepare, Superintendent LaTonya Goffney told trustees the District’s immediate goal was to cut 10 percent of its $14 million budget. Although the current plan is a little short of that goal, Goffney said if legislators make maximum cuts “education in COCISD is going to look much different” no matter what changes transpire near term. “This plan is contingent on the State legislature’s adopted budget for the 2012- 2013 biennium and further reduction action plans may be necessary,” she said. Regarding revenue enhancement and an inter-district transfer policy, Goffney said she does not know if the new policy will be successful in the enrollment of additional students. Transferring students, however, would be required to meet certain academic standards and have a history of good behavior. COCISD will not be responsible for transporting them to school. Pursuant to the budget reduction plan, payroll costs account for 76 percent of the District’s budget expenditures and, subsequently, it is where the greatest proposed cuts occur. Line item savings estimates include: • $594,000 in attrition (resignations and retirements), • $107,000 from non-to local leave only. Employees will continue to receive a maximum of five state leave days. When using state days, employees will not incur substitute costs nor will they incur costs for District approved professional development days. The budget reduction plan includes additional savings through reductions in program changes, transportation/extracurricular travel, and other miscellaneous local, non-payroll expenditures. Finally, there will be no pay “step” increases for COCISD employees. Neither Goffney nor other administrators will receive raises. Following the meeting, Goffney announced that retiring teachers are to be honored with a public reception at 3 p.m., May 24 in the Administration Building, the end-of-year staff awards program is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., May 26 in the Jones Auditorium/Professional Development Center, and high school graduation is scheduled for 7 p.m., June 2 at Sam Houston State University Coliseum. The next regular meeting of COCISD trustees is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., May 24 in the Jones Auditorium/Professional Development Center. The public is invited.


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