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LV school wrestles with budget after $1.2 million in cuts

 

The La Vernia Independent School District (ISD) board continues to prepare a budget while implementing changes caused by state budget cuts.

The board met Aug. 10 to discuss district budget cuts for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

The state Legislature cut $1.2 million in funding for the district this year. According to Superintendent Tom Harvey, there are few options to cut spending, and the district had to rely on rearranging staff.

“There are only certain things you can cut,” he said. “You can’t cut things like electricity.”

According to Harvey, the district is saving money by:

•Not replacing staff members who retired last year

•Cutting back on classroom supplies

•Not printing faculty handbooks or codes of conduct; these will be available on the school’s website

•Increasing the number of students on buses and the length of bus routes.

The board must take these cuts into consideration in order to approve a final budget.

“If any school district can make it work, La Vernia can,” Harvey said. “We have great teachers.”

Harvey also reminded the board that the budget can always be amended to account for any future changes.

The board also discussed the tax rate for the upcoming year.

Last year’s tax rate was $1.405 per $100 of appraised value. Operations, including salaries, benefits, materials, and more, accounted for $1.04 of the tax rate, while 36.5 cents was applied to debt service.

Most board members expressed a desire to keep the tax rate the same.

“Stability is incredibly important,” Harvey said.

The board will make a final decision on the tax rate at the end of August.

Also at the meeting, the board approved an amended Student Code of Conduct handbook presented by Donna Kubena. Harvey said the handbook takes the district’s original policies with some of the new laws and “marries them together.”

The board will meet again at the end of August to finalize the budget and tax rate.

 
 
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