New Tyler ISD Logo Square

The Tyler Independent School District board of trustees approved its 2019-20 budget at the first board meeting of the year Monday night.

The district also approved its new tax rate, after a change to school finance swapped 7 cents per $100 of taxable value for increased state funding.

The $163 million budget gives the district a net increase of $11 million over the previous year. As a result of the state’s tax swap, the district’s Maintenance and Operation tax rate will drop from $1.04 per $100 of taxable value to 97 cents. The board approved the overall tax rate of $1.335, which includes bond debt approved by voters. That rate is a decrease from last year’s rate of $1.405.

The tax rate will be compressed further during the 2020-21 school year.

Due to rising property values, with the average home value in the district’s taxing area seeing an increase from $166,354 to $174,994, tax bills are still likely to go up. That increase means the tax bill on the average home valued at $174,994 would still see an increase of about $16.40, even with the 7-cent drop in tax rate.

The increased budget will allow the district to fund its new districtwide full-day pre-K program, expand Rose City Summer Camps to two additional middle schools next summer and fund teacher raises ranging from $2,500 to $4,000.

The district will spend about twice as much as the state has mandated for pay raises, with the total budgeted at $6 million.

In other business

The Tyler ISD Foundation donated $5,000 to the Caldwell Arts Academy Ceramics Lab and the Good Words Foundation donated $55,189 to Caldwell for digital learning opportunities.

The district also reviewed last week’s accountability rating results.

The board approved the resignation of Executive Director of Communications Dawn Parnell. Board members thanked her for the hard work and dedication she has shown the district before attendees gave her a partial standing ovation. Parnell has been with the district for six years, and will leave in September.

Clarification: A previous version of this article said the district approved a new incentive pay program. The program approved in the budget was a renewal of a previously existing program.

Cory is a multimedia journalist and member of the Education Writers Association, Criminal Justice Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. He has appeared on Crime Watch Daily and Grave Mysteries on Investigation Discovery.

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