The school district is proposing a $127.8 million budget that includes cuts to almost every district department but minimal decreases at the campus level.
Decreases to campus-level allotments reflect projected enrollment changes rather than decreases in per-student funding.
The district proposes to maintain the existing tax rate of $1.375 per $100 valuation.
However, the average TISD homeowner can expect to pay $17.12 more in taxes this year because of higher property values. The average home value in TISD is $136,450, up $1,245 from last year.
“We did have to cut things, but it was nothing compared to last year,” Chief Financial Officer Tosha Bjork said. “Any time you have to make cuts is painful, but I feel like we can (deal with) it and still provide a solid education for the kids.”
The school board is scheduled to vote on the budget and tax rate during its Thursday meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Dr. Jack L. Davidson Conference Center in the Jim Plyler Instructional Complex, 807 W. Glenwood Blvd.
This is the third year for TISD staff to go without raises and the second year for teachers, Ms. Bjork said.
The district will award stipends up to $1,300 to employees this school year. The exact amount depends upon the employee's work status.
By giving stipends instead of raises, TISD doesn't have to maintain the pay increase next budget year if it doesn't have the funds. The stipends will cost the district about $3 million.
The district's transportation billings are up to the tune of $50,000. The transportation department bills campuses or departments for certain trips unrelated to regular student drop off and pick up. That money, which sometimes comes through grants, goes into the general fund, Ms. Bjork said.
Medicaid reimbursements should bring in an additional $500,000 in federal funds. This is because the district started claiming transportation expenses for certain students with special needs.
Other additional revenue will come through E-Rate, a federal program that reimburses school districts for certain telecommunications services.
Advertising revenue from the Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium scoreboard also will be transferred into the fund balance.
When it comes to expenditures, many central office departments will have 5 percent reductions in funding, but some took more or less.
The district cut almost $1 million in payroll and benefits through absorbing 12 teaching positions at the high schools, decreasing the amount of money put into the health insurance contingency fund and limiting overtime pay by using compensatory time for maintenance and custodial employees.
In instruction and instructional support, the district plans to cut the campus allotment by $17,168; elementary field trips by $25,000; playoff games funding for band, cheer, etc. by $35,000; and advanced academics by $50,000.
Ms. Bjork said schools still can use certain federal funding or campus funds to pay for field trips.
The district's contingency funds will provide for the band and cheerleaders' travel expenses should certain athletic teams make the playoffs.
Ms. Bjork said that overall the cuts would affect mainly departments, and the district tried to avoid those that would directly affect students. However, one area that is not the case is athletics and fine arts.
Each of those departments is slated to receive a $30,000 funding cut under the proposed budget. These offices fund instruments, equipment and uniforms for students.
Other offices such as physical education, student services and counseling services received 5 percent funding cuts.
Interim Superintendent Gary Mooring said he is comfortable the district is using every dollar it can even with the cuts being made.
“We're concerned about the continuing budget cuts from the state, but our district is still going to provide the resources and support to (provide) the best education possible for the students of Tyler ISD,” he said.