Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

June 26, 2013

BISD approves 2013-14 budget

With little fanfare, the Burleson ISD board of trustees on Monday adopted a nearly $72 million budget for the 2013-14 school year.

Trustees approved the budget after a brief budget workshop earlier on Monday evening and a briefer public hearing during the board’s regular meeting that night. No one spoke up during the public hearing and trustees voted unanimously to approve the budget without discussion.

“We had really hammered out the details during a budget workshop on [June 17]. That’s why we didn’t need much time [on Monday],” new Superintendent Bret Jimerson said Tuesday morning.

The budget is based on a total tax rate of $1.54 per $100 — the same as in the 2012-13 fiscal year — and an estimated 98 percent property tax collection rate. It also includes a basic allotment of $4,950 per student in state revenue, based on House Bill 5 enacted this year by the Texas Legislature, and an estimated increase in average daily attendance of 2.3 percent.

The projected revenue in the 2013-14 budget is just over $3 million more than the amended budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year. Jimerson said the new funding formula approved by Texas lawmakers — about $200 more per student — accounts for part of that increase. But the district’s continuing growth is the main reason revenue will be up this year, he added.

Still, Jimerson said, the ADA growth of 2.3 percent is a conservative estimate of what district officials expect to see.

“We want to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money,” Jimerson said. “We want to always live within our means, and we always budget conservatively so we can be sure we are living within our means.”

The budget includes $71,929,731 in revenue and $71,923,584 in expenditures. The district is expected to end the 2013-14 year with a fund balance of $20,846,589, according to budget numbers approved Monday. But Jimerson said a higher-than-predicted growth in ADA for the 2012-13 fiscal year means the district will end the year with higher revenue than predicted and a greater fund balance.

The vote on the budget came after Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Jeff Monk administered the oath of office to trustees Michael Ancy and Shawn Minor, both of whom drew no opposition in their re-election bids this year.

Trustees cancelled school board elections, originally scheduled for May 11, when no one registered to run against either Ancy or Minor, thereby automatically returning the two to their seats.

After Ancy and Minor were sworn in, trustees elected Ancy as board president, replacing Beverly Volkman Powell, who has been board president for the last two years. Trustees also elected Minor as vice president and Andy Pickens as secretary.

After an executive session at the end of the evening, trustees reconvened in open session and voted to name Brenda Mize as full-time chief financial officer for BISD. Mize, formerly the district’s director of accounting, has been acting as interim CFO for the past several weeks.

In other business on Monday, trustees:

zx Voted to renew contracts with the accounting firm of Weaver and Tidwell for auditing services, with Trinity Armored Security for picking up daily deposits from the schools, and with ESC Region XI for training and other services.

zx Approved vendor list additions for special needs supplies and equipment, athletic equipment, teaching supplies, janitorial supplies and maintenance supplies.

zx Approved contracts with Johnson and Tarrant counties for Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Programs.

zx Declared specific outdated football equipment as obsolete.

zx Continued the local policy on the evaluation of teachers.

zx Approved continuation of district policy on how to handle cases of head lice among students.

zx Voted to apply for expedited and general state waivers for the 2013-14 school year.

zx Changed specific board meeting dates in October, January, March, June and July for the 2013-14 year.

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