GCISD trustees adopt $139.6M general operating budget

The Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District's board of trustees this week unanimously approved a $139.6 million general operating budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year, which kicks off July 1.

The budget includes a $6 million shortfall, a result of public education funding cuts made last year by the cash-strapped Texas Legislature.

"These cuts are real and they have been at the local level — they have been in the classrooms and in the school buildings all across the state," Superintendent Robin Ryan said. "The actions of the Legislature are certainly being felt deeply in every school district."

The district expects to cover the deficit through its fund balance. And despite the shortfall, GCISD employees will see a one-time, 1 percent incentive payment as well as a 1 percent cost-of-living raise — their first pay increase in two years.

Since November, trustees have approved numerous cost-cutting measures designed to keep cuts away from the classroom, including reducing operational costs and eliminating 51 positions through attrition and outsourcing.

Even with the $6 million shortfall, the approved 2012-13 general fund budget is about 2 percent smaller than the 2011-12 budget.

"We have passed a deficit budget this year and we anticipate passing a deficit budget next year until the formula changes or until additional revenues are placed in education," Ryan said.

Eighty-three percent of the district's budget comes from local taxes; 11 percent comes from the state; 2 percent comes from federal sources and 4 percent comes from other local revenue sources.

The district's top expenditure is payroll, which makes up 63 percent of its budget, followed by contracted services at 27 percent, supplies and material at 3 percent, and 7 percent for other expenses.

As a wealthy Chapter 41 — or "Robin Hood" — district, GCISD contributed $26.24 million to the state in the form of a recapture payment for the 2011-12 school year. GCISD estimates contributing $28 million for the upcoming school year.