School Board adopts budget, tax rate for upcoming year

The Italy School Board of Trustees adopted a tax rate of $1.2410 per $100 valuation at its monthly meeting held Monday evening.
The breakdown is $1.17 for maintenance and operation and $.0710 for interest and sinking. This is the same tax rate as last year, according to Larry Eubank, board president.
They also adopted the 2009-2010 budget with projected revenues and expenditures at $6,697,696. The new budget year begins Sept. 1.
This budget, with these expenses, will comply with the Financial Integrity Rating Systems of Texas 65% rule spent on instruction, according to Jimmy Malone, superintendent.
A budget workshop started the meeting with budget amendments approved for the 2008-2009 budget. This budget includes the purchase of a new 71-passenger school bus, an agriculture trailer and A-Plus Software.
A public hearing followed. There were no citizens requesting to address the board.
Curtis Riddle, board member, said he wanted to see the school bus in the budget but wanted to wait until next year to make the purchase.
Speed Hamby, transportation director, said he was uncertain as to whether one of the buses would make it throughout the year. He said the oldest route bus has over 100,000 miles. Hamby presented the board with three proposals for new buses– all about $80,000.
Riddle said that if a bus did go down, the district could have a bus within days. Hamby again interjected that there were only a few buses currently available on lots. He said it could take about 180 days for the district to receive a new bus if they had to order a bus.
The board approved financial reports – receiving 100.62% of projected revenues and spending 98.66% of projected expenditures.
The board also approved minutes of the July 20, Aug. 3 and Aug. 10 meetings, the substitute teacher list for 2009-2010 and the student transfer list for 2009-2010.
Tommy Morrison, board member, questioned how many students the district would allow to transfer. Currently, there are 61. He suggested Malone begin looking at the possibility of charging transfer students.
Malone said the Ennis ISD started charging for transfer students.
Riddle questioned Kevin Witte, technology director, as to why the computer labs were not in place at both campuses. He said he was “disappointed” that things were not in place for the upcoming school year.
Malone explained that the various computers and mimeo boards could only be purchased after the budget was adopted. Witte said he would get the technology equipment installed as quickly as possible.
Riddle said he felt the students had lost a year in computer technology and urged Witte to get the computers hooked up as fast as possible, even volunteering to help install equipment.
Malone announced that he had a workshop last week with the eight new teachers to the district. He noted that the district, in addition to offering dual-credit history and English, would also offer dual-credit biology this year.