RISD sets budget hearing June 20th

No change proposed in $1.225 tax rate

Rockdale ISD trustees will hold a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Monday, June 20, to discuss their proposed 2011-12 budget and tax rate.

The proposed tax rate is $1.225, same as the current rate.

Proposed maintenance and operat ion rate is $ 1.04 and interest and sinking rate is 18.5 cents.

Even though the tax rate is forecast to remain the same, calculations required by the state indicate taxes on the average residence in the RISD will increase by $27.70.

That’s because the taxable value of the average residence has increased from $65,980 to $68,242.

Taxes on the average residence would increase from $808.26 to $835.96.

Supt. Dr. Howell Wright said last week that no additional teacher positions would be cut in the 2011-12 budget.

NO R EDUCTIONS—Also, there don’t appear to be any additional personnel reductions on the horizon.

Key word is “additional.”

The district implemented a teacher retirement incentive program last spring, allowing 2011- 12 planners to know how many positions to budget for.

Funds are being saved by not funding some positions as configured in past terms.

“Early retirement and attrition have taken care of our personnel reductions for this year,” Dr. Wright said. “Next year we will have better information, once a school finance plan is settled, to see if we need to continue to cut positions.”

Dr. Wright said each department and campus is giving up 10 percent of its budget and other cuts have been made.

“They are mostly through attrition, and repurposing (reassignment),” he said.

Dr. Wright said the district was implementing the Project Share program “to help reduce professional development costs and travel.”

“ We are not going to renew licences for many of our Microsoft products,” he said. “We are going to use open source products that are free.”

In anticipation of losing state funds, school administrators began to look at cost- cutting options early this year, saying “everything was on the table” for the 2011-12 school term.

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