PISD Board hears proposed budgetFree Access

Diana Guthrie

Reporter

At the regular Pleasanton ISD board meeting held Wednesday, June 13, Finance Director Scott Stephens addressed the board on the proposed budget based on the pre-certified values from the Appraisal District.

He explained that the State requires school districts to calculate two tax rates: one is based on the Maintenance and Operations and cannot be more than $1.04, the second is the Interest and Sinking fund. Based on the current tax rate, the projected budget shows a shortfall of over $400,000.  He would like to hold a Tax Ratification Election which would allow 13 cents from the I&S fund to be transferred to the M&O fund, without any increase to taxpayers. In doing this, there would be an additional $2 million in the M&O fund which would allow for many improvements for the district. This money would be used to attract and retain quality staff by increasing teachers’ pay and giving additional compensation for non-teaching positions. They would be able to assess safety needs in the district and provide more mental health support to students.  Technology and student programming could be expanded to broaden the students’ education. The additional monies could also be used to maintain the existing buildings and fulfill a needs assessment. He added that this TRE was not unusual and that Jourdanton, Poteet, Lytle and Devine use it. Notice would be published in the paper on June 27 and July 4. On July 10, at 5:30 p.m., they would hold the public hearing setting the tax rate following with a public hearing on the budget. The regular school board meeting would be held at 6:30 p.m. where the board would adopt the budget, set the tax rate and order the TRE election. The M&O rate would go from $1.04 to $1.17; the I&S rate would go from .427209 to .297209 for a total of $1.467209, which remains the same for either budget selection.

Minutes from the May 8 meeting and the May 30 workshop were approved unanimously.

Pete Pawelek moved and Dr. Jimmy Zuniga seconded the final payment of $369,405.23 to Joeris for the new Elementary campus project. Pawelek and Edward Zamarripa moved to pay Joeris for the Support Services Complex project, which is the maintenance and transportation building, in the amount of $121,323.01. With unanimous votes from Blasa Chapa, Patricia Cox, Pawelek, Zuniga and Zamarripa both items passed. Laurie Daughtrey was not present at the meeting.

The board also unanimously approved updating the marketing area of the High School Cafeteria. This would include new paint and signage to make the serving area more modern and up-to-date. The $30,418.67 would come directly out of the Food Service budget.

BRM Construction was approved to pave the existing overflow parking lot at the Primary for $39,088.

Stephens asked the board to approve a budget amendment, which would move funds to the transportation account, in the amount of $98,759.00. That is the cost of a new bus. Motion was made and passed unanimously. He then asked for approval to purchase a new 77 passenger school bus for that same amount. This would be purchased through the Buy Board, so there is no need to go out for bids. If they get the PO out tomorrow, they should have the bus before the end of August. The vendor is Long Horn Bus Sales out of Houston.

Earlier in the meeting, Eric Gonzales, a 28 year veteran with the United States Marine Corps Special Ops, took the podium to voice his concerns regarding the dress code issue at the recent graduation during public comments.

Superintendent Dr. Matthew Mann said that any decisions made about graduation came from PISD and not the board.

The meeting included Mann’s report. He wanted to remind the board of the Lone Star Governance training coming up. STEM and athletic summer camps are ongoing, as well as the Summer Feeding program which runs through June. The PISD Education Foundation School’s Out for Summer Golf Tournament on June 8 was quite successful, with almost $20,000 raised.

At this time, 7:09 p.m., the board retired into close session to discuss a personnel matter and consult with the attorney. Upon returning into open session at 8:20 p.m., Cox moved and Zamarripa seconded a motion to accept the recommendation for personnel from Mann. Motion passed unanimously, leaving all in the audience wondering just what that recommendation was.  Meeting was immediately adjourned at 8:22 p.m.

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