The Brenham ISD unanimously approved and adopting the 2015-2016 budget and tax rate on Monday evening.
Director of Business and Finance for the District Kim Horne told the Trustees that the budget for the General Operating, Interest and Sinking, and Food Service included the Legislative funding, which was increased from $5,010, to $5,140 per student, and a midpoint pay increase of 4.69% .
Also included in the report were budget for Maintenance and Operational budget of $39,777,192, Interest and Sinking $2,363,514, and Child Nutrition $2,901,108.
Horne noted that that the District has a surplus of $336,980.
Several Board members praised Horne for her work in keeping the school district within budget.
The Board also adopted the setting of the 2015 Tax Rate, which Horn announced will be staying the same, and had been steady since 2012.
The tax rate is set at 1.0333 for Maintenance and Operations, and .1017 for the payment of principal and interest on Debt Service, both of which were approved separately.
In other items, Director of Information and Technology Kim Strauss presented the board will the proposal to purchase 110 laptops for all full time teachers, which the Board approved.
The computers will feature the Windows 10 operating system.
Strauss mentioned that the department was interested in buying the best computers available in the budget, to allow the computers to be used for the five years use plan.
The final cost of the computers came in at $75,000. Strauss was able to negotiate the price down under the original estimate of approximate $77,000.
The old units will be recycled into Chromebooks and placed in classrooms for student use.
Also presented were the 2015 District and Campus Accountablilty Ratings by Director of Instruction and Accountability Bonnie Brinkmeyer.
All schools in the District received the “Met Standard” rating except for Alton, who, according to Superintendent Dr. Walter Jackson, missed receiving the “Met Standard” rating by only one or two students.
Jackson says it was his opinion that the rating should be appealed to the Texas Education Agency, noting that the whole school’s rating should not be affected by so few students. He praised Alton principal Michael Ogg for his working in improving student performance, with the only standard not being met was the “Post Secondary Readiness” standard, while meeting the Student Achievement, Student Progress and Closing Performance Gaps requirements.
The Board also heard from two members of the public. The first to speak was Jerry Helmond, who addressed the Board by saying he approved of the new budget, and the new board Operating Procedure.
Also heard from was John Deans, who address his concern about lack of officers in the schools to deal with active shooters. Dean noted that the money was in the budget, but said that when he questioned schools on whether there had been an officer present in the school that day, the answer was either “no” or there was one there only part time. Deans expressed his concern that there should always be an officer on duty for safety, especially since there was budget money to employee officers to the schools who don’t already have a resource officer.