By Curtis Rippee, MISD Board of Trustees President
Welcome to the McKinney ISD Board of Trustees Monthly Board Report.
The Board conducted its June Work Study on June 18 and Regular Board Meeting, including a Public Hearing regarding the proposed tax rate, on June 25. The Board conducted a Public Hearing on July 9 regarding the 2013-2014 Budget. During the Work Study, the Board heard a presentation from the Physical Education and Health Services departments, elected Board Officers for the coming year, and discussed the proposed budget and tax rate for the 2013-2014 school year.
Ms. Julie Blankenship Coordinator of Health Services, and Ms. Karen Clem, Physical Education Coordinator, updated the Board on the efforts to improve the health of students to facilitate learning. The Board was updated on the efforts of the Health Services department, which includes campus nurses, to minimize incidents of illness, such as flu, while also managing the various medical issues of MISD’s student population.
During the 2012-2013 school year, 118,462 visits were made to the school nurse, 915 of our students have life threatening allergies, 239 students have diabetes, 4,655 students have asthma and 372 students have heart conditions. The Board learned that McKinney ISD is the first school district to be designated “American Heart Fit Friendly” due to our walking paths at each campus.
MISD has eight “Healthy Zone Schools” with five more campuses in training. These designations will result in the district receiving $96,000 over the next 2-3 years. All of MISD’s elementary campuses have been recognized by the USDA under the US Healthier School Challenge program.
In the Work Study and in the Public Hearing, Dr. Ed Bigbee, Chief Financial Officer, gave a presentation regarding the proposed budget for the 2013-2014 school year, as well a proposed increase in property tax rate. The proposed 2013-2014 expenditure budget was $187 million compared to $180.1 million in 2012-2013, an increase of $6.9 million or 3.8%. Of the $6.9 million increase, $5.1 million is in the area of Instruction and $6.0 million of the $6.9 million increase is payroll related. Over 79% of the total expenditures of the district are related to payroll and benefits.
The proposed budget includes an average 2.5% increase in compensation for all employees. For the 2013-2014 school year, the expenditures per student are budgeted at $7,452 compared to $7,238 for the 2012-2013 school year.
Dr. Bigbee shared with the Board that while the state legislature restored $3.4 billion of the $5.3 billion of the education cuts made in 2011 or 64%, McKInney ISD only received $4.3 million or 27% of the previous $15.1 million in funding cuts made by the state in 2011. As a result, without an increase in the local property tax rate, the proposed budget will result in a $10.7 million deficit. The overall net decrease in state funding for MISD from 2011 to current is approximately $11.4 million. To offset the expected deficit related to the decrease in state funding, the Board was presented with a proposal to increase the current overall tax rate from $1.54 per $100 of value to $1.67 or $0.13. This increase in property tax revenue would eliminate the deficit and restore the amount of the Reserve Fund that was used over the past two years to balance the budget after the 2011 funding cuts.
In the public hearing for the tax rate increase on June 25 as well as the public hearing for the 2013-2014 Budget on July 9, the Board discussed both the budget and proposed tax rate increase, extensively. The Board expressed concern that any further cuts, beyond the $4.9 million cut in the 2011-2012 school year, could have a detrimental impact on the quality of education in McKinney ISD. Therefore, the
Board unanimously approved the 2013-2014 Budget and the proposed higher tax rate. By law, the increase in tax rate must be approved by the public. Therefore, the Board called for a tax rate election to be held on Saturday, September 21. The increase in property tax would not affect those who are 65 and over, who have a homestead exemption.
Each year, the Board is required to elect its officers for the coming year. The Board held elections for board officers in the Work Study meeting on June 18. The officers for the coming year are: Curtis Rippee, President; Amy Dankel, Vice President and Bobby Amick, Secretary.
On April 23, the Board conducted its Regular Board Meeting. At the meeting, the Board participated in a learning session lead by students from Faubion Middle School. Board members and Dr. Kennedy were divided into two person teams and asked to perform an experiment, with the assistance of the students, using “Bungee Barbie.” The exhibition showed how our teachers are using fun and engaging methods to teach topics such as linear regression.
Agenda items also included approval of the Student & Athletic Accident Insurance, resolution declaring a 4.49 acre of land as surplus and authorizing the sale of same, approval of revisions to Trinity Falls Subdivision agreement, and the approval of sale of certain Tax Foreclosed properties for which offers had been received.
The Board will conduct its next Work Study meeting on Tuesday, August 20 and its Regular meeting on August 27. The Work Study meetings are normally held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month. Regular Board meetings held on the 4th Tuesday of the month.
MISD Board of Trustees
Curtis Rippee – President
Amy Dankel– Vice President
Bobby Amick – Secretary