A 3 percent salary increase for all employees is included in a more than $196 million general expense budget Denton school officials are proposing for the 2012-13 year, Superintendent Ray Braswell said.
The proposal indicates no changes to the district’s current tax rate of $1.53 per $100 valuation, he said.
A brief budget overview will be presented at today’s 6 p.m. school board meeting at the district’s Central Services Building, 1307 N. Locust St., followed by a public hearing. Residents will have an opportunity to comment on the proposal after the presentation.
The school board is expected to adopt the budget at its June 26 meeting and set the tax rate in September.
The 2012-13 budget will take effect July 1.
Braswell said the district is expected to spend more than $4 million in employee salary increases. Total salary expenditures were not available.
The district accumulated about $2.9 million in savings by moving from a self-insured medical plan to participation in the state-established TRS ActiveCare medical plan last January and intends to return those savings to school employees in the form of raises, Braswell said.
Funding lost on the benefits side will be given back to staff on the salary side, he said.
Reserves and monies generated by student growth, Braswell said, will offset the remaining costs for the raises.
Salary increases have been frozen the last two years for district-exempt and support staff, and one year for teachers.
“It’s the right thing to do,” Braswell told the school board at a May 22 meeting.
District officials have built the upcoming year’s budget on a projected 4 percent student increase and an estimated $350 million increase in taxable property values. Certified values are expected to be released July 25, Braswell said. The district will make adjustments to the budget throughout the year, “once numbers become more finite,” he said.
The district faces a $5 million reduction in state allocations for the 2012-13 year, in addition to the $11 million reduction for the current year. The district looks to offset the 2012-13 reduction through the use of $2.7 million in reserves and money generated by increased student growth, Braswell said.
Projected reserves for the 2012-13 year total about $61.2 million, according to Sharon Cox, district spokeswoman.
A comparison of the current year’s adopted general budget and the fiscal plan proposed for 2012-13 show an expenditure increase of about $8 million. Some expenditures contributing to the added costs include the hiring of new teachers, increased fuel and utility expenses, and monies added to campus budgets to accommodate projected student growth.
Drafting the 2012-13 budget has been a lot smoother than creating the current year’s budget, Braswell said. This year, the district “never had to entertain the idea of letting anybody go.”
“It’s been a lot less stressful,” Braswell said. “We did a lot of work last year. We cut a lot of costs last year.”
BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876. Her e-mail address is email@example.com .