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Fiscal budgets take effect

Profile image for By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer
By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer

The start of September brought the beginning of a new fiscal year for several area school districts, as their recently adopted 2013-14 fiscal budgets took effect.


Aubrey ISD

The Aubrey school board adopted a balanced budget Aug. 28 in which operating expenses are projected to total around $14.7 million. 

Included in the budget are expenses for tutors, costs to establish a district police force, adjusted step raises for staff members on step schedules and a 3 percent general pay increase for district employees. 

James Monaco, the district’s chief financial officer and former superintendent, said he’s pleased that the district can offer raises to staff members.

“I think in all my 30 years . . . it was probably one of the better years to make the budget,” he said. “It was great leadership by [interim Superintendent Debby] Sanders and the board to give back to those people that give a lot.”

The board also recently lowered the tax rate by 3 cents, setting it at $1.51 per $100 of property valuation. 

Debt service expenses are projected to total more than $3.2 million.

Overall, it’s projected that the district’s total budget expenses with all funds — general, food and debt service included — will total more than $18.5 million, according to the adopted budget document posted on the district website.


Lake Dallas ISD

The Lake Dallas school board adopted its general operating budget Aug. 26.  District officials have previously said estimated revenue for the 2013-14 fiscal year includes a $1.3 million increase in state funding. 

"LDISD appreciates the hard work of the legislators to work to restore partial funding to public schools,” Superintendent Gayle Stinson wrote in an e-mail. “We still have a long road ahead to catch back up to 2011 financials; however, the outlook is bright and we look forward to a productive, successful school year.”

The operating budget includes a $1,500 pay increase for employees on a step schedule and an approximate 3 percent raise for all other staff.

The school board voted to keep the tax rate at its current level of $1.67 per $100 valuation.

The district’s total overall budget expenses — general, debt service and food service funds included — are projected to total more than $40.3 million, according to the adopted budget posted on the district’s website.


Ponder ISD

The Ponder school board adopted a budget Aug. 29 that includes a deficit of about $400,000, which district officials attributed to stagnant enrollment and a decline in property values.

District officials have said the district will look to absorb the deficit with reserves it previously saved.

Prior to adopting the budget, district officials projected that general fund expenses will total more than $12.5 million, with revenue generated for the fund totaling $12.1 million. The operating budget includes an average 1.5 percent pay increase for district employees.

The school board set the tax rate at $1.385 per $100 of property valuation, a 3-cent increase from the 2012-13 rate. Superintendent Bruce Yeager, who could not be reached for comment, has previously said the increase will support debt service expenses, which are projected to total $2.38 million.

Expenses for the district’s overall budget, all funds included, are expected to total close to $15.7 million, according to the adopted budget document posted on the district website.


Sanger ISD

At an Aug. 28 meeting in Sanger, the school board adopted a general fund budget in which general operating expenses are projected to total $19.3 million. Revenue for the fund is projected to amount to $19.679 million, resulting in a surplus.

According to information provided by Superintendent Kent Crutsinger, the 2013-14 operating budget expenses include 3 percent pay increases for professional, administration and auxiliary staffs and eight new professional staff members. Also included in the budget are increases in substitute pay.

Overall, the district expects to see an increase in state revenue totaling more than $1 million, according to information provided by the superintendent.

It’s projected the district will pay more than $2.9 million in debt service expenses, a reduction of $44,000 from the 2012-13 budget. 

Crutsinger said the school board is expected to set the tax rate at a meeting beginning at 6 p.m. today at 601 Elm St. in Sanger. No change is proposed for the current tax rate of $1.372067 per $100 valuation, he said.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.