|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company
Expected funding cuts dip to $306,000
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – While state legislators were still hammering out a final agreement in Austin, local school officials were told Monday that state budget crisis is now expected to impact next year’s local budget by about $306,000. During a special budget workshop held by the Trinity Independent School District’s board Monday night, Business Manager Kevin Parrish said the latest numbers coming out of Austin were relatively good. He noted while the cut in state education funds will reduce the amount TISD will receive over the next two years, the reductions were not nearly as deep as were projected earlier this year. “We actually have some good news for you for a change,” Parrish said. “It seems that lately it has been all bad.” Parrish noted that at one point, the district was told it could expect to lose up to $1 million in state money next year and like schools throughout Texas, they began working to cut next year’s budget as much as possible. In his report, Parrish told the school board that under the biennium school funding budget now being considered by the Texas Legislature, TISD could expect a direct cut of $216,812 in funding during the 2001-2012 school year. In the 2012-2013 school year, the state funds would be $180,326 less than current levels. In addition to the direct cuts in state money, next year TISD will be obligated to pay almost $90,000 to fund programs that previously had been covered by grant money, bringing the total funding loss up to the $306,000 level. Those “recurring” grant expenses would not be obligated for the 2012-2013 school year. Parrish noted that in recent months, the district had managed to cut almost $690,000 from its budget for next year, most coming in the form of payroll reductions. The district cut seven full-time professional staff positions and 13 full-time auxiliary or paraprofessional jobs for a savings of $380,448 in payroll costs. In addition, the district set in place $183,199 in cuts to contracted services; $66,843 in cuts for supplies; and $12,719 in travel cost reductions. Parrish also noted that by making changes in purchasing as well as meal pricing, the school also expects to make the district’s cafeteria program self-sufficient. The district had originally expected to have to transfer about $44,000 from its general fund to cover deficits in the food program. Parrish noted that as long as the legislature does not dramatically change direction and increase local funding cuts, TISD’s budget next year would be in relatively good shape. “We don’t know where (Gov. Rick) Perry and the state legislature will go yet, but we do feel confident that it they continue to go in the direction they are now headed, we will be okay,” he told the board. In other business during the special meeting, the board voted to hire Steve Brownlee of Corsicana as the new director of curriculum and instruction. Intermediate School Principal Vanessa Franklin also was granted a one-year extension on her current two-year contract. The extension means the contract would run through June of 2013. Also hired was Carrie Ross as a high school English teacher/girls coach and Wanda Fann as a life skills teacher.