|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company
School’s budget year ends on positive note
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – After issuing a call for spending reductions back in January, the Trinity Independent School District will reach the end of its current budget in the black. During a special workshop Monday, Aug. 8, Business Manager Kevin Parish reported that when the budget year ends on Aug. 31, the district is expected to have between $20,000 and $50,000 left in the general fund and between $10,000 and $30,000 remaining in the cafeteria fund. The only fund not in positive number is expected to be the debt service fund, which is projected to be down by $30,000. Parish noted that when the year began, the district had about $2.5 million in its fund balance – which is the cash reserve used by districts throughout the state to operate pending the receipt of state funds and the collection of property taxes. Parish said the same $2.5 million remains in the account and the district will be able to add the money left over in the general fund budget to the total. Earlier this year, school principals and teachers were asked to cut back spending as much as possible after warnings were issued by the Texas Education Agency that money from the state could be cut back or delayed due to an ongoing budget crisis. At one point, local officials were told they may not receive payments from the state for one or more months during the summer and that schools would have to rely on their fund balances to make up the difference. So far, the state had continued to make the monthly payments to schools and Parish told board members Monday that TISD expects to receive the August payment on time as well. “I’m not going to guarantee anything at this point, but the word that we received is that the money will be here this month,” he told the board. In his report, Parish noted that the same tax rate now in place is being proposed for the coming year -- $1.04 for maintenance and operation and .104 for debt service for a combine rate of $1.144 per $100 in taxable value. During the coming year, revenue from the state will drop by a net total of $246,513, but noted that a reduction in force (RIF) program which eliminated some job positions as well as cuts in other areas have more than offset the projected loss. “You may recall that at one point we were told we could expect to lose almost $1 million next year. The final total was no where near that, but thanks to the planning we did we were ready,” he told the board. “I think we’re in a good position considering the fact there are a lot of districts around us with frozen salaries and there are a lot of districts that did a much larger RIF than we did,” he said. Parish noted TISD will be granting the annual “step raises” to teachers this year. Superintendent Dave Plymale praised Parish, principals and teachers for their efforts in finding the most effective way to cut the local budget without impacting the quality of instruction to students. During Monday’s meeting, the board also approved the Student Code of Conduct for the coming year and awarded five personnel contracts. Natalie Barrett was promoted from her post as assistant principal at Lansberry Elementary to the job of principal at Trinity Middle School. Elementary teacher Brittaney Cassidy also was promoted to the assistant principal job being vacated by Barrett at Lansberry. Teaching contracts also were offered to Karen Noyes at as a special education instructor at Trinity Intermediate; Eric Kelly as an assistant principal; and to Ronald Babcock as a middle school computer tech instructor.