PISD gets look at early budget numbers for 2014-2015

PISD_2-20-HudsonRevenue figures for Paris Independent School District look a little higher for next year. But then, so do expenditures.

“It’s officially that time of year,” Business Manager Tish Holleman told the school board Monday. “This is to get us in the mood to think about what’s ahead in the next couple of months.”

Early projections show PISD stands to get about $34.01 million, or $464,000 more next year. That includes $21.32 million from the state, $10.57 million in local revenue and $2.12 million from federal sources.

Expenditure projections at this point total $34.13 million – a $111,656 shortfall. The operating side of the budget has a $228,213 surplus, but debt payments show a $339,869 gap.

“This is a projection of revenue. That’s kind of hard to estimate right now,” Superintendent Paul Jones said. “A district this size, it’s hard to estimate revenue on last year’s numbers because our expenses increase. Eighty percent of our budget is salaries. If 80 percent of our budget gets step increases, that’s a large number.”

The numbers are very preliminary, Holleman said. They include not only an increase in debt payments, but also a step increase in pay for teachers and aides according to the district’s hiring schedule. Other employees not on that schedule haven’t been figured in yet, she said.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” she said.

PISD also faces a roughly $300,000 bill from the state for a new charge the Legislature put on school districts to cover a cost of living increase for retired teachers – the first such hike in more than a decade.

“Thank the school districts,” Jones said. “That was an easy vote for any legislator.”

This year’s budget has $20.86 million in state revenue, $10.57 in taxes and other local revenue sources and $2.12 million from the federal government. That totals $33.55 million in revenue.

Proposed expenditures for this year come in at $33.65 million. The $99,243 shortfall is from the debt fund. Rather than raise taxes to cover the entire cost of $3.28 million in debt payments, the district elected to use money left in the interest and sinking fund to offset expenditures.

In other business:

  • PISD_2-20-ToYThe board approved an expedited waiver for juniors and seniors to be exempt from school for STAAR testing March 31, April 1, May 6 and May 10. “Every year when it comes time for STAAR testing at the high school, it requires so many teachers to assist with the testing that we don’t have enough teachers to watch all the students,” said Mark Hudson, deputy superintendent of curriculum and student services.
  • The school board tabled a student travel request from Edward Lee. Four students and two chaperones are scheduled to attend the National Catholic Forensic League Grand National Tournament in Chicago in late May. The group currently plans to drive, but the board tabled the request to give time for a cost comparison to fly instead.
  • The board recognized Aikin Elementary School instructor Susan Dicken for being named the Red River Valley Down Syndrome Society’s special education teacher of the year.
  • Trustee Regina Williams volunteered to serve on the Teacher of the Year selection committee.
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Jeff Parish Jeff Parish is a high school English teacher and journalist. He has worked for the Greenville Herald-Banner, Dallas Morning News, The Paris News and Galveston County Daily News, among others. For comments, feedback or suggestions, you can email him at jeff@eparistexas.com.