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Trustees approve budget, keep tax rate the same

Iowa Park CISD trustees met Tuesday in a special called meeting where they approved both the budget and proposed tax rate for 2017-18.
For the first time in three years, the 2017-18 budget totalling $18,425,082 reflects a surplus ($124,782), with expenses amounting to $18,300,300.
The board also approved the proposed tax rate, keeping it unchanged from last year at the existing $1.33 per $100 valuation ($1.17/$100 for Local Maintenance, and $.16/$100 for I&S.
Early in the meeting, trustees approved the amended budget for 2016-2017. Public hearings were scheduled for the proposed budget and tax rate, but no one was present for comment.
“It is nice that we are proposing a balanced budget,” said Superintendent Steve Moody. “Really for the past four years we have had deficit budgets, so this is good.”
The General Fund in the approved budget totals $16,015,572.Local revenue totals $6,543,734, an increase of $222,598 due mostly to an increase in appraisals.
Revenue from the state totals $9,336,838, an increase of $1,413,377 and a positive reflection of the approval three years ago of the Tax Ratification Election (TRE).
Funds from federal sources totals $135,000, $1,000 less than the previous year.
Other revenue generating the total revenue of $18,425,082 includes Title I, Part A ($186,541), Title II ($33,529), Title IV ($10,000), Food Service ($795,040), and Debt Service Fund ($1,384,400).
Instruction takes almost half of the expected expenditures with $9,007,735 allocated. Maintenance and Operations is budgeted for $1,901,961, and Debt Services $1,604.104.
The IPCISD Board of Trustees also approved the Interlocal Agreement with Texoma Education Center.
Under the existing agreement, Iowa Park CISD combines with Electra ISD and City View ISD to provide alternative education programs with the Texoma Education Center Cooperative.
The Texoma Education Center, located in Iowa Park, provides a program of appropriate education and services to eligible at-risk students.
In the Superintendent’s Report, Moody told the board of the current enrollment figures showing a total of 1,836 students, an increase of 23 students from the previous school year and 68 more students than were enrolled in the 2015-16 school year.
Moody said the current figures could increase to around 1,850 before the end of the school year.
Prior to the previous two school years, Iowa Park CISD saw a string of eight years where enrollment was under 1,800. “Hopefully these figures show that things are turning around for Iowa Park.”
In other business, trustees were provided options for attending required legislative update sessions.