Monday, July 22, 2019
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Sharyland-LogoAt their Monday meeting, the Sharyland Board of Trustees approved a $116,520,107 budget.

The budget reflects an increase of $2.7 million from their previous budget which only covered a fiscal year of 10 months instead of the traditional September 1 through August 31 timeline.

The budget includes a $500 annual pay increase for teachers while administrative professionals, clerical and auxiliary workers will have a one percent of pay range midpoint increase.

The budget will be funded chiefly by a tax rate of $1.37 per $100 of assessed property valuation, a tax rate the district voted to maintain for the two years when it was raised by four cents in 2016 to pay for several capital improvement projects.

The official budget consists of three different funds – general, food service and debt service. The general fund has $89.8 million. The food service fund is at $6.2 million and the debt service fund has $8.2 million.

Trustee Julio Cerda noted that the budget doesn’t have room to purchase new buses for the district, leading to a presentation from the district’s transportation department.

“Even though all our fleet is functional right now, there is a need for new buses,” district Transportation Director Enrique Mata Jr. told the board. “We haven’t purchased a bus in the last three years and all our 22 buses that were purchased then are out of warranty.”

Mata Jr. said the district needed at least three new regular buses and two buses for special needs students. Jaime Ortega, the district’s finance director, said the district made plans to include funding in the budget to buy new buses but those plans fell through.

“This budget is extremely tight and leaves very little room for flexibility,” Trustee Ricky Longoria said. “This is what we’re forced to do, the alternative is raise taxes and we don’t want that.”

District Superintendent Maria Vidaurri said Monday she and the district’s finance department would look for options on purchasing new buses in the next fiscal year.

“We’re trying to see if there’s a lease program available so we don’t have to buy four or five buses at once, that’ll really affect our budget,” Vidaurri said. “We’re trying to get on a program to purchase one or two buses at a time to bring our fleet up to par and once we get on that system we’re not always needing four or five buses a year.”