Trustees eye proposed budget of 2015-’16 school year

The Wills Point ISD Board of Trustees talked dollars and cents July 16, hosting a nearly hour-long budget workshop led by Superintendent Suzanne Blasingame prior to the start of their regular monthly meeting.

 “We are not proposing an increase in taxes for this school year,” Blasingame said. “Our rate as been $1.04 for maintenance and operations and then $1.104 for the I and S (interest and sinking fund) understanding that we’re in the middle of re-selling those funds. With that consideration, Mrs. Sanderson (Director of Finance Mary Sanderson) and I felt like we need to keep it as is at this time.”

The re-sale of those bonds could produce close to $120,000 in savings for taxpayers.

Proposed tax collections for the 2015-’16 year, which will start late in 2015, are estimated to be $5,726,817.

Blasingame continued the presentation by outlining the proposed budgets for several programs to trustees, and the various elements that essentially come together to make the district’s yearly budget. 

“When we add in the revenue, and our state program revenue and our federal program revenue the total revenue, the money we have to spend, will be $19,263,941. So we take that revenue, and then we build a budget off of it. We have to budget every penny that we receive. Whether we spend it or not, it has to be placed somewhere in the budget.”

Payroll essentially totals 80 percent of that figure, coming to an estimated $15,491,378. “The percentage is in line with what we’ve spent on payroll. Our payroll is typically 80 percent of our total budget.”

For the 2014-’15 school year, the district budgeted a total of $18,862,150. Based on projected revenues, the district has budgeted a total of $19,263,941 for the 2015-’16 school year.

Blasingame closed her presentation by giving trustees some items to consider, including an increased payment schedule for teachers. Blasingame stated, “We provided you with a balanced budget. We budgeted every dime, but there’s some things for you to consider. As far as salary goes, the Wills Point ISD salary schedule was increased for teachers, counselors, nurses and librarians in 2013-’14. We tried to make it more competitive with surrounding districts. It’s really hard west of Wills Point to compete, but we were almost lined up with Mabank and Kaufman, but when we increased our salary schedule they did the same thing. We can compete east of Wills Point with salaries.”


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