Budget Process Ongoing At SSISD, Additional Personnel Raises Still Being Considered

There’s still quite a bit of work to be done before Sulphur Springs Independent School District administrators present a substantially complete general budget for trustees to approve.

SSISD Business Manger Sherry McGraw presented trustees with an updated working draft of the 2019-2020 budget during their regular meeting Monday evening.

McGraw said the business office had received an updated template, but continue to receive from regional, state and federal officials updated formulas, which mean continued adjustments to the budget. House Bill 3 can be thanks for some of the continued fluctuations in the budget.

The district has estimated tax values, but those can still change until the certified values are in on the 25th. District officials are as best they can figuring estimates in revenues this year based on last year’s tax values. At present, there’s a potential $500,000 difference between the current tax values and estimated values. If with adjustment the values come in higher, the district can utilize those funds to offset any deficit areas in the budget.

As of Monday, the district was projected to receive $40,895,287 in total revenues. However, expenditures were estimated at $41,031,994, for a shortfall of about $136,707 once all portions of the overall budget — general operating, needy children fund, transportation, co-curricular and instructional materials allotment — are factored in.

Transportation is expected to cost $1.54 million, while co-curricular is expected to outpace revenues by $744,487.

McGraw said campus expense budgets are in but are still being reviewed, and certified tax values aren’t yet available, to name a few of the variables to be figured into the budget before it is ready for board consideration. There are also still a few staff changes to be factored in as well. Although all know positions yet to be filled have been factored in, there’s still each employee’s years of experience to be considered, as well as an additional pay scale for other employees other than teachers, counselors and nurses.

The budget also has to accommodate a new middle school CTE class, as well as include TRS, payroll, federal and local revenues and expenses.

School administrators had hoped to have the budget more substantially completed to present earlier for board approval, but have scheduled another budget work session for for July 18, with the budget anticipated to be submitted for approval at the regular Aug. 12 school board meeting. The July 18 meeting is expected to be a special noon session.

Superintendent Michael Lamb said the extra week should allow business officials and administrators to have a clearer picture of projected revenues. They are still working to incorporate pay raises for additional district personnel in the budget as well.

Food service, debt service and workers compensation portions of the budget will be designated separate from the general fund budget to be presented by mid August for board approval.

Lamb and McGraw were slated to attend a work session hosted Tuesday by Region VIII Education Service Center to help districts better understand HB 3 and ensure all specifications are met.

Author: Faith Huffman

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