During the June 15 GCISD board meeting, trustees adopted the budget for the upcoming school year while taking into consideration school funding laws approved during the 2019 legislative session. The budget is composed of three parts that the board must adopt annually: the general operating budget, the child nutrition budget and the debt service budget.
In the district’s general operating budget, 87.63% of expenditures go to the district’s payroll, Chief Financial Officer DaiAnn Mooney said. That cost next school year includes raising the GCISD starting teacher salary to $54,000, while also providing at least a 1% of midpoint compensation increase for all employees, according to meeting documents.
The general operating budget of $196.6 million was built on an estimated maintenance and operations tax rate of $0.9564 per $100 property valuation. The official tax rate is expected to be approved in August after the board receives the July 25 certified property values, Mooney said.
The district is projecting a recapture, or “Robin Hood,” payment of $50.9 million, which is an increase of $1.43 million from the 2019-20 budget year, according to a district news release.
“This calculates to about 31.5 cents of every tax dollar collected will be paid to the state,” Mooney said.
The child nutrition budget was approved for $6.2 million. This budget consists of local food sales and federal School Lunch & Breakfast program revenues. This budget also supports the entire Child Nutrition program without supplementation from the general operating budget, according to the district news release.
The debt service budget was approved for $56.4 million with an estimated tax rate of $0.3567 per $100 property valuation. This budget also includes prepaying bonds in the amount of $12.78 million, which will save taxpayers an estimated $7.9 million in future interest costs, Mooney said.
The debt service budget is comprised of bonds that voters approved in 2016 to construct a new Cannon Elementary School, two multipurpose centers and renovations and security upgrades.
The 2020-21 school year budget must be adopted before the end of the fiscal year on June 20, the district said in a news release. However, several decisions that could be made as school begins could affect the budget, raising the possibility that the district will need to come back and amend the budget at a later date.