Leander ISD board members approve $2.4 million for capital projects

The Leander ISD board of trustees approved the early release of $2.4 million to be used toward capital projects in the 2017-18 school year during a meeting Thursday evening.

The funds are part of the district’s capital overlay and will be used toward a variety of district projects, including improvements in athletics classrooms, cafeteria furniture, band instruments, technology and buses. The money is already budgeted for the 2017-18 school year, said Chief Financial Officer Lucas Janda.

Janda also gave trustees an update for the 2017-18 budget planning. He said the school district has received projected property tax estimates from both Williamson and Travis counties’ Central Appraisal Districts, and the preliminary local revenue projection for next school year is $223.2 million.

“We have received our preliminary notification that we are property rich once again,” he said. “Our values are growing faster than our student population.”

Janda also discussed the compensation study, in which district staff gives recommendations on salary increases, but said staff decided to hold off on bringing a recommendation to the board due to uncertainty in the Texas Legislature.

“The ideal situation for us is to sit on this for another meeting and give ourselves the opportunity to see if the Texas Legislature will enact legislation that hopefully will provide some additional new monies,” he said.

Chief Human Resources Officer Karie Lynn McSpadden said the district is watching what salary increase percentage surrounding school districts are approving. Round Rock ISD approved a 2 percent increase last week, and she said Lake Travis is recommending a 3 percent increase.

“With our 2 percent recommendation, we would be below Austin, Pflugerville and Lake Travis for zero year starting salary, so we’re beginning to run different scenarios,” she said.

McSpadden said district staff is expected to present a recommendation to board members in June.

Board members also approved a food management contract to continue services with Southwest Foodservice Excellence for one year. Superintendent Dan Troxell said the district is expected to go out again next year for contract bids.


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