Carroll ISD makes budget amendments, plans ahead with school finance reform bill in mind


As the 2018-19 school year closes, Carroll ISD officials are expecting some budget changes.

CISD board members approved, during their June 3 meeting, a second amendment for its 2018-19 school year in anticipation of more expenditures and revenue. A first budget amendment was authorized in March to provide funding for CISD’s new voluntary drug-testing program, weather alert system, and legal fees and stipends.

As of June 3, the school district expects to receive about $1 million in additional funds from local and federal revenue sources bringing the total from about $120.5 million to $121.5 million, according to meeting documents.

The additional funds will help offset some rising expenses. New costs include $485,000 to purchase land on Peytonville Avenue for additional parking at Carroll Senior High School.

An additional $550,000 will also go toward recapture payments to the state, according to meeting documents. This is a result of student enrollment being less than what was projected.

Overall, expenses will amount to about $124.3 million, according to documents.

CISD administrators have also begun preliminary work to plan for the 2019-20 school year. As of May, taxable value is estimated at $9.8 billion, which reflects a 10.4% growth over the previous year, said Scott Wrehe, assistant superintendent for financial services. Enrollment is projected to be about 8,503 students with an attendance rate of 96%.

But one thing that could change CISD’s budget is House Bill 3, a major school finance bill that recently passed through both the Texas House of Representatives and Senate.

“House Bill 3 is looking to put an additional $4.5 billion into education and an additional $5 billion property tax compression,” Wrehe said. “That bill will help increase the state’s share of public education from 38% to 45%.”

Under HB 3, a percentage of the increase in per-student funding would go to raises for full-time non-administrative staff, including teachers, counselors, nurses and librarians, according to the bill. It prioritizes teachers with more than five years of experience.

It was sent to the Gov. Greg Abbott’s office where it will be signed, vetoed or passed as law without a signature.

Until HB 3 is finalized and staff can review its provisions, there is still a lot of uncertainty, Wrehe said. But overall it will help the school district. Based on changing variables, CISD could see a revenue increase from $1 million to $4.5 million.

School districts with property values growing 2.5% or more would see tax rates automatically lowered to keep revenue growth in line, according to The Texas Tribune, Community Impact Newspaper’s reporting partner.

“We may not bring in as much on the property tax revenue side as we did before, but on the flip side our recapture payment back to the state won’t be as high,” Wrehe said. “So, there should be savings in there for the district.”

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Renee Yan
Renee Yan graduated May 2017 from the University of Texas in Arlington with a degree in journalism, joining Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in July.
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