The Denton school board is expected to adopt the 2012-13 budget at its meeting Tuesday.
According to district officials, general fund budget expenses are projected to total more than $196.8 million, a 4.54 percent increase from the current year’s budget. Expenditures for the debt service and child nutrition budgets are projected to total more than $47 million and $9.1 million, respectively.
The 2012-13 budget takes effect July 1.
The district does not plan to change the property tax rate of $1.53 per $100 valuation. But the board won’t set that rate until September, after certified property valuations are known.
The 2012-13 general fund budget includes, on average, a 3 percent salary increase for all district employees.
Dennis Stephens, the district’s human resources executive director, told trustees during a previous school board meeting that beginning salaries for a teacher with no experience would increase to $47,600 for those with a bachelor’s degree, $49,350 for teachers with a master’s degree, and $51,100 for teachers with a doctorate.
He said it’s being recommended that teachers with a bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate receive no less than $1,000 or a 3 percent increase, whichever is greater, while maintaining their $100 step progression, based on years of experience. Exempt, paraprofessional and operations staff will receive raises of at least $700 or 3 percent, based on the midpoint of their salary range.
The total expenses budgeted for salaries is nearly $166.9 million.
Employee salaries make up nearly 85 percent of the district’s general fund budget, according to district documents.
District exempt and support staff have gone without a salary increase the last two years while teachers’ salaries have been frozen a year, district officials have said.
Part of the raises will be funded by about $2.9 million the district saved by moving from a self-insured medical plan to participation in the state-established TRS ActiveCare medical plan last January, outgoing Superintendent Ray Braswell said.
“It certainly is a help, and they certainly deserve it,” he said.
Board President Mia Price said the proposed budget “reflects a great deal of work.”
“I think staff realized the importance of covering the difference in our health care costs, … and they worked really hard to make that possible through the proposed 3 percent raise,” she said.
The budget also includes money for hiring additional staff, increased utility and fuel costs, and an increase in the per-pupil costs because of enrollment growth.
District officials projected a 4 percent increase in enrollment and estimated a $350 million increase in taxable property values.
Certified values are slated for release July 25.
“I truly hope it’s a bellwether, a sign that the economy is starting to turn around,” Price said. “I would much prefer our values to go up than to go down. It’s a very positive sign.”
District officials project Denton will generate more than $194 million in revenue in the 2012-13 year for the general fund budget. General fund expense projections total more than $196.8 million.
The budget includes a $5 million reduction in state revenue allocated to the district — that’s in addition to the $11 million reduction for the current budget year, district officials have said.
Braswell said the district intends to offset its deficit with $2.7 million in reserves and money generated from increased enrollment.
A projected $350 million increase in taxable property values is good news for the debt service budget and will provide some flexibility, Braswell said.
According to the district’s proposed debt service budget, revenue projections total more than $49.4 million while expenses equal to more than $47 million resulting in a surplus.
Based on projected values, the district looks to gain more than $1.8 million in revenue on the debt services portion of the budget.
School board members intend to consider using those additional funds to buy down debt, Price said.
District officials expect a balanced child nutrition budget of more than $9.1 million for 2012-13.
The Denton school board will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the district’s Central Services Building, 1307 N. Locust St.
BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .