Shaping a school budget is an arduous task, a lengthy process that begins early in the year and continues until August. Sulphur Springs business manager Monday night briefed trustees on when they can expect various portions of the process to be completed.
“We are in the heart of budget, working with campuses,” Sulphur Springs Independent School District Business Manager Sherry McGraw told trustees. “We should have the biggest part of it established by May.”
McGraw said the business office expects to present a preliminary budget to the board in May, make any big adjustments or changes that are recommended or required, then have the “recommended” budget ready in July. With a few last changes, the budget will be presented for board approval in August. Budget workshops will be held in conjunction with the regular board meetings during those months.
“It’s not usually ready at the regular August meeting the second week in August, but we have until the 31st. We usually have a meeting to adopt it and the tax rate. It would be a short meeting,” McGraw said.
Also during the administrative reports portion of the meeting, SSISD Assistant Superintendent Randy Reed presented Texas Association of School Boards Localized Manual Update 99 to trustees. The document essentially, contains the guidelines the district uses to amend district policies to reflect educational changes made by the 83rd Legislature. Many things are required and districts simply have to adopt them. There are only “five or six local polices” that were affected, but nothing that would “cause any major changes to our local procedures. Nothing to cause a lot of concern,” Reed said.
The proposed updated, with required and recommended local policy changes, will be presented to the school board for approval at their April meeting.
Reed also asked the board to adopt the proposed staff development and early release waiver requests to be submitted to Texas Education Agency. He said district council had drafted a 2014-15 school calendar, but it is contingent on the board approving those items. Otherwise, it would be revised to reflect those days. The waivers ask for three additional staff development days, for a total of 12 staff days. Also, the waivers request four early release days to accommodate required Title 1 parent-teacher meetings at elementary campuses as well as travel time for school events.
Reed said that districts every two to three years are required to apply for early release and staff development waivers if they have such days; this year happens to be the year in the current cycle that SSISD has to submit those waivers.
The board unanimously approved the waiver requests Monday. Reed said they will finalize the proposed district calendar for next year and present it for board approval at the April board meeting.
Trustees were also asked to individually vote for one of two Red River County nominees for the Place 5 representative seat on Region 8 Education Service Center Board of Directors. Superintendent Michael Lamb, in introducing the measure, said that unless they had personal knowledge of the two individuals his best recommendation for selection was to consider two possibilities: if based on their interactions with Region 8 ESC, they were satisfied with the way things were handled or if they feel a need for a shake up or change. He said without additional knowledge of the candidates, that’s the best advice he could make. Each of the six trustees present — Jason Dietze was not at Monday’s meeting — cast a ballot and Lamb collected them to report to Region 8.
The board also during the regular portion of the board meeting approved the consent agenda, which in addition to bills, tax and investment reports included the instructional materials allotment TEKS certification form for next year.
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