The Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees approved a balanced budget of $168.15 million for the 2011-2012 school year during a special meeting Thursday night.
The approved budget is $5.28 million less than the previous year for HCISD, a decrease of about 3.04 percent, as a result of a cut in state revenue. The district lost money from the state in four separate funds, equaling about $6.8 million.
“Public education in this state was put in a difficult position last year,” Superintendent Dr. Steve Flores said. “But this district overcame the adversity. This district found solutions to the state revenue shortfall that allow us to think about the future of this community, as opposed to biting our finger nails until the next biennium.”
The district was able to make up for the loss revenue through a $3.1 million federal jobs grant, as well as a 15 percent cut to off-campus support budgets and 10 percent to campus operating budgets.
“I would like to commend the board and our administration for preparing a budget that provides the necessary resources for our classrooms, while remaining loyal to taxpayers,” Board President Gerry Fleuriet said. “We were in a unique situation this year in planning our budget because of the uncertainty at the state level. I’m proud of this board’s commitment to making the tough decisions necessary for best providing a quality education to every child in this community.”
Trustees will vote on a new tax rate during their September meeting. The board held a public hearing for the proposed tax rate of $1.218 for every $100 in property value, a decrease from the previous year’s rate of $1.219.
“This board came together with our administration in finding an effective solution to the state revenue shortfall, implementing a budget that will allow our teachers the opportunity to thrive in the classroom,” Flores said. “The efforts of our board members in preparing this budget through countless workshops this past year is a testament to their passion for public schools.”
HCISD will also make up for lost revenues through
- a $600,000 reduction to its technology budget,
- a $350,000 cut to its capital outlay budget,
- a $274,013 cut to school bus budget,
- a $232,609 cut to the travel budget,
- a $60,000 in savings through consolidation of copiers, and
- a $261,750 cut to the substitute teacher budget, which the district expects to save through on-campus staff development programs.
Trustees will vote on a new tax rate during the September meeting. The board held a public hearing for the proposed tax rate of $1.218 for every $100 in property value, a decrease from the previous year’s rate of $1.219.