High school staffing, technology and overtime are just a few of the areas Tyler ISD plans to spread budget cuts for the coming school year.
Chief Financial Officer Tosha Bjork outlined the district’s 2012-13 proposed budget during a board workshop Monday. The budget won’t be presented to the board for approval until late August.
Ms. Bjork said the budget proposal is complete a lot earlier this year because TISD has known about the state funding cut since last year. These cuts were a part of the statewide budget cuts to manage Texas’ budget shortfall.
With additional revenue coming in through transportation billings and Medicaid reimbursements, among other things, the district had about a $1.25 million budget deficit to overcome for the coming fiscal year. Ms. Bjork said the budget is balanced unless something else comes up that the district has to fund.
Technology also would take a hit with about a $185,000 cut. Ms. Bjork said the district renegotiated maintenance contracts for computer software programs and will manage overtime better to accommodate this decrease.
The district reduced the amount of money it sets aside for health insurance fund contingency and Teacher Retirement System benefits. Maintenance and custodial overtime also was reduced.
In the area of instruction and instructional support, the district is budgeting $250,000 more than last year for summer school remediation.
TISD Superintendent Dr. Randy Reid said this is related to the new statewide standardized testing system, called the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR.
With high school students now having to take end-of-course exams in 12 subject areas, starting with this year’s freshman, the state requires the district to provide remediation for students who fail this test.
Reid said district officials estimated the number of students who will fail this test and will expect to have a better idea of how much remediation actually will be needed after this year’s testing season.
Other instructional cuts include: elementary school field trip funding, $25,000; playoff game fund for band, cheer, etc, $35,000; and Advanced Academics, which includes the International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement programs, $50,000.
The playoff fund cut will be accomplished through the use of contingency funds and cost controls, according to district information.
Central office department budgets would be cut by 5 percent under the proposed budget. These include the superintendent’s office, deputy superintendent, school board, human resources, records management and more.
Along with that, all instructional support departments such as elementary, secondary, science, social studies and math, among others, would see a 5 percent funding reduction under the proposed budget.
The district would increase its funding to the Preventive Maintenance Fund by about $21,500, according to the proposed budget. It also would add $160,000 for two new instructional leadership positions.
The board also:
—Authorized the district to enter into contract negotiations with Corgan Associates and Sinclair & Wright Architects. The companies would plan and design an Advanced Technology and Career Center for TISD. The building is expected to be included in an upcoming bond election that the district could call for as early as November.
—Approved about $735,000 worth of contracts for John Tyler High School track and field upgrades. The improvements will include adding an eighth track lane, expanding the bleachers and improving the lighting, among other things. The district is trying to complete the work by next track season, Reid said.
—Approved May 17 as the date to officially canvass the board election, even though it was canceled because neither race was contested.
Single member districts 5 and 7 were available on the seven-member board and one person filed for each position.
Brad Spradlin filed to retain his District 5 seat while Andy Bergfeld, who previously served on the school board, filed for the District 7 seat, being vacated by Ron Vickery. Spradlin and Bergfeld will be sworn in May 17.