June 29, 2016

Todd Marshall
Director of Communications,
Marketing and Development
903.794.3651 ext. 1013

TISD Board of Trustees Talk Student Meal Pricing Budgets and Community Involvement

Texarkana, TX – During the June 28, 2016 regular session of the Texarkana Independent School District Board of Trustees meeting, members approved changes in student meal pricing, budget amendments for the current school year, budget and proposed tax rate for 2016-17 and received a report from the Student & Community Development department.

Student meal prices for the 2016-17 school year will be: Breakfast $2.05 (up $.10), Elementary Lunch $2.55 (up $.10) and Middle/High School Lunch $2.65 (up $.10).

Increase in pricing is due to federal guidelines associated with The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 a. The act requires public schools that receive federal funding for free and reduced lunches to serve more whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. TISD’s meal pricing is directly related to the continued increases in wholesale food costs due to higher food commodity and energy prices. Additionally, the Texas Department of Agriculture mandates student meal pricing to be raised to the gap between “paid” and “reimbursable. TDA sets the minimum increase and school districts are asked to comply.

“We continue to strive to have our food services program be self-sufficient through revenue received from paid school meals along with state and federal government reimbursement while at the same time maintaining quality, affordable meals for students,” said Casey Nichols, Executive Director of Operations.

Following a report from Deidra Reeves, Chief Financial Officer, budget amendments for the current school year were approved. “Amendments to our working budget are performed only one time per year at the end of the budget year in preparation for our audit which begins in July,” she shared. “Amendments include adjustments to Food Service, Debt Service, Capital Projects and General Fund. Overall, the bottom line remains the same as it was when presented in June of 2015.

The final budget for the upcoming 2016-17 school year was approved by Trustees. It reflects revenue of $63,925,555 with a $382,561 deficit balance.

“This is the first time since 2011 we have requested Trustees to consider a deficit budget,” said Paul Norton, Superintendent of Schools. “The deficit is in part to ensure we have a successful start with our two newest campuses, Waggoner Creek Elementary and the Sixth Grade Center @ Texas Middle School. We fully anticipate with savings throughout the next school year, we will have a surplus come time for our audit in November 2017.”

The conservative budget shows estimated tax base properties coming from commercial at 47.96%, residential at 38.78%, industrial at 7.86% and undeveloped land at 5.39%. The total value of the top ten tax payers is at $179,986,616 which is 9.38% of appraised values. Enrollment for next year shows an increase of 125 new students over last year due in part to the new elementary school along with additional increases at the middle school, high school and other elementary schools.

No change will be made to TISD’s current tax rate of $1.425 which was last increased in 2015 as a result of the successful bond election in November 2014.

Final report of the evening was from Jo Ann Rice, Assistant Superintendent for Student & Community Development, and detailed that during the 2015-16 school year a total of 210 area business partnered with TISD through the Partners In Education (PIE) Program. Collectively, PIE members donated volunteer services, monetary and in-kind contributions totally $993,219. Within the TISD Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) Program, 882 persons volunteered during the year contributing an estimated 42,157 hours of volunteer efforts on TISD campuses.

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