Bullard ISD budget shows further cuts
Bullard ISD board members on Monday night adopted a tax rate and what the superintendent described as a basic budget that covers student services.
Trustees adopted a tax rate of $1.47 per $100 valuation with $1.17 for maintenance and operations and 30 cents for debt service. That's below the effective tax rate -- the rate needed to maintain current revenues -- which is $1.49 per $100 valuation.
Bullard ISD Superintendent Keith Bryant said the district lost $1.3 million in state revenue over the past two years, along with some federal Education Jobs Fund monies, so it needed to keep the tax rate the same to maintain its level of services.
"We would have to raise taxes to access the same (revenue), and we don't have the ability to raise taxes anyway," he said.
Instead, Bullard ISD has worked hard to trim this year's $15.8 million general fund budget.
It has absorbed a couple positions, restructured some departments and cut every department at every campus by 10 percent, Bryant said. That's after last year's departmental cuts, which averaged 25 percent.
"We're down to the bone," Bryant said. "We've cut everything we can out of the budget while still having services for our kids."
He said principals and teachers will have fewer supplies and less equipment as the school year begins, and the district has postponed needed maintenance projects, such as air conditioning and roof replacement. But it is not cutting essential teaching positions.
"Our board made a commitment to keep people in place. ... A few left this year, (but) we absorbed some (positions)," Bryant said.
"Our teachers have done a great job. I don't think kids will notice a difference."
He added, "Our board has been very cautious with funding and budget preparation. They (have) approved a budget that represents a sacrifice on campuses instead of students."