Board Approves 2012-2013 Budget
The Frisco ISD board of trustees adopted a $321,550,000 budget at their regular meeting on Monday, June 18.
The budget represents a $20 million increase (6.7 percent) compared to the current year actual budget. The increase in expenditures is necessary to meet the needs of almost 3,000 new students (7.3 percent increase), to meet the costs of opening 4 new schools ($14 million) and to provide a three percent of midpoint increase in salary for employees ($6.6 million). Salaries were frozen last year, with teachers receiving a two percent of midpoint increase in the previous year.
This budget is based on revenue that includes a four cent increase to the maintenance and operations tax rate, which will generate $6.6 million. The current tax rate for M&O is $1 per $100 of assessed value. Frisco ISD is one of less than 10 percent of the districts in the state that are not yet at the $1.04 cap (without holding an election). The district has been at the $1 rate for the past four years.
In order to meet this budget, cuts of $8 million that were realized in this past year will be moved forward in this next budget year. Savings were realized in a variety of ways, such as moving to the triple routing of buses, reducing grounds maintenance schedules, reducing utility costs and hiring fewer teachers for growth, which has resulted in increased class sizes. Additional revenue sources, such as modifying the after-school care contract, among others, resulted in about $2 million in additional revenue to offset pressure to the operating budget.
FISD received $14 million less state funding in the 2011-12 school year compared to the previous year funding levels. In this second year of the biennium, the district will receive $17.4 million less compared to the old funding levels.
The Board will not officially adopt the tax rate until the August or September board meeting when the certified values are available. On a home valued at $261,000 last year and this year, after subtracting the $15,000 homestead exemption, a four cent tax rate increase would represent a $98.40 annual tax increase, or around $8 a month. When residents turn 65 they can apply for the over-65 exemption through their appraisal district and have their tax bill frozen.
The tax rate for the debt service payment, the I&S tax rate, is not proposed to change from 42 cents.
During the opportunity for citizen input on the budget and the proposed tax rate, two citizens spoke against the increased budget and two spoke in favor.