• December 10, 2019

Trustees approve tax rate - Odessa American: News

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Trustees approve tax rate

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Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 8:24 pm

The Ector County ISD Board of Trustees approved a total tax rate of $1.17 per $100 valuation during their meeting Tuesday.

A school district’s taxes are made up of maintenance and operations and interest and sinking to pay debt.

The maintenance and operations rate will be $1.06835 per $100 valuation and $.10957 for iterate and sinking.

No one attended the meeting to comment on the tax rate.

Legislation passed by lawmakers during the last session compressed the maintenance and operations rate to $1.06 per $100 valuation. That will increase to $1.07 per $100 valuation for the next school year.

The rollback rate, which would require voter approval, is $1.17792, supplemental agenda material said.

With the passage of the tax ratification election in November 2018, the total rate was about $1.28 per $100 valuation.

Although the total tax rate is down, agenda material said homeowners will see an average increase of $62.84. This does not include age 65 and older and disabled homeowner’s exemptions.

The average increase is from the assessed valuation increase, the material said.

In June, the board approved total general fund revenues of a little more than $299 million, almost $25 million more than last year.

Most of the increased revenue comes from an increase in Foundation School funding from the state ($15,012,942) and higher estimated tax collections ($8,470,758) due to an increase in appraised values, the board recap from June said.

Cost increases for this year included staff raises and stipend increases ($10.9 million); TASB salary study adjustments ($2.6 million); an increase in school budgets ($1.7 million); increases in utility costs ($1.4 million); vehicles/buses cost increases ($1.3 million); campus computer devices ($1.4 million); and increased insurance costs ($784,500).

At that meeting, the board also approved, as required by law, a food service budget of about $16.7 million (an increase of $1 million); and a debt service budget of $13.1 million, which was nearly the same as last year, the board recap said.

The board also approved the Optional Flexible School Day program following a public hearing that no one commented in.

Deputy Superintendent Stephanie Howard said the Optional Flexible School Day program is a way to better meet the needs of students.

Robert Cedillo, an executive director of secondary education, said it gives principals another opportunity to help students to graduate and get state funding that the district is not currently getting for students attending the Community Outreach Center.

Cedillo said it’s also a chance to increase the completion rate.

The application will be sent to the Texas Education Agency, which has 30 days to review it. Once TEA approves it, Cedillo said the program can start.

Last year, the Community Outreach Center served about 80 students.

The program also will be implemented at Permian and Odessa High schools.

The program can be accessed online through Odysseyware at home or in a credit recovery lab at one of the schools, Cedillo said. Those are open form late afternoon until around 8 p.m.

He said there would be teachers on hand to help students.

Howard said Optional Flexible School Day dates back about 12 years and she couldn’t speak to why ECISD hadn’t presented it to the board before.

The board also:

  • Approved class size waivers at the elementary level.
  • Approved Chick fil A menu items for middle and high school cafeterias. The recap said the items must meet USDA Smart Snack Guidelines.

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