Board approves 2010-2011 budget

The Board of Trustees approved a $149.9 million budget for the 2010-2011 school year at a special meeting Monday night.

The total budget increased by $2 million, about 1.4 percent, compared with the 2009-2010 budget.

In providing a balanced budget, Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District was able to cut utility costs by $350,000 and decrease property and worker’s compensation insurance costs by $400,000. At the same time, HCISD was able to raise the salaries for all its teachers, hourly/paraprofessional employees and administrators.

“The business department’s ability to provide a balanced budget was a significant accomplishment,” board Vice President Gerry Fleuriet said. “We receive a top bond rating every year, and it’s no accident. We feel that we have the best business staff in the state.”

In addition to the salary increase, HCISD added seven new positions to be funded through local funds.

“I want to thank our board for approving this budget,” Superintendent Dr. Steve Flores said. “This is a conservative budget, which is critical as we move forward in these cloudy economic times.”

The most significant fund increase for the 2010-2011 school year was debt services, which nearly doubled from $5.7 million to $10.8 million because of the passage of 2010 bond initiative.

HCISD officials have proposed a property tax increase of 9.7 cents for every $100 in property value, which was a part of the 2010 bond initiative that voters approved last May. The board will vote on the tax rate proposal during their September 14 meeting.

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