The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

August 14, 2013

Westwood ISD Superintendent pleased with academic accountability rating


PALESTINE — Budget Talk

After discussing information related to the 2013-14 proposed $1,560,500 deficit budget during Monday’s meeting, WISD school board members accepted administration recommendations, which included salary adjustments.

Some of the changes included bumping auxiliary worker pay up 50 cents to $8 an hour and increasing a stipend for up to $5,000 for agriculture teachers due to summer activities. Board president Theresa Bambeck and member Joni Barone cast opposing votes.

A public hearing to discuss WISD’s 2013-14 proposed budget will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19 in the WISD administration office. A special called board meeting will follow in which the school board will adopt the budget and tax rate and approve the 2012-13 final budget amendments.

Because the school district is completing several construction projects during the fall semester, the district will spend a portion of its designated fund balance and the 2013-14 expenses will be significantly more than the 2013-14 revenues.

WISD Superintendent Dr. Ed Lyman said at the July meeting the $1.5 million difference in revenues/expenditures in the proposed budget will be taken out of the fund balance, which is currently setting around $10 million, set aside for facility upgrades and the 1:1 Technology Initiative for students.

In addition, WISD’s proposed budget will give a raise to teachers, make a Step 22 for teachers and offer a 3 percent raise to other designated school personnel.

Another reason for the proposed salaries increase is because of the rising cost of employee health insurance. Those on the Active Care 1 plan will see a 9 percent increase. The Active Care 2 plan is going up 15 percent and the Active Care 3 plan is going up 25 percent.

Other factors in the budget include the decreased amount of property taxes to be collected, going from $436,899,390 for the 2012-13 year to $427,304,430 for the 2013-14 school year.

While state funding is expected to be about $397,000 higher for the 2013-14 school year, the district is down 96 students, which also affects funding.

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