Trustees okay tax rate hike

Luminant litigation cited in .09-cent jump
Reporter Staff Writer

Rockdale ISD trustees voted unanimously to adopt a ninetenths of a cent tax rate increase for 2011-2012 during their regular monthly meeting Monday night in the Central Administration Building.

The $1.225 tax rate is up slightly from the current $1.2135.

Marla Wallace, chief financial officer, said the increase is in response to Luminant’s lawsuit over values at its Sandow Power Plant. She told board members that the adopted amount may still be short.

“The 0.185 (for debt service) may still be short, depending on the Luminant outcome,” Wallace said. “This is the max the rate could be without having to go to the voters.”

In past years the district would post that it would adopt a debt service rate of up to 18.5 cents and then would adopt less. This year, trustees adopted the entire 18.5.

In other business, board members:

• Heard the final cost of the elementary gym air-conditioning project was under budget, coming in at $248,144 rather than the estimated $262,000.

• Heard a presentation from junior high administrators and teachers on “The Leader in Me” program they are implementing with staff and will implement with students.

• Heard results from district testing coordinator Lynette Guerra on the June TAKS testing of fifth and eighth graders who had not recently passed the exam.

• Heard a report from Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Administration Pam Kaufmann on new Instructional Materials Allotment created by Senate Bill 6 that allows the state to give districts full control on what teaching materials are purchased. RISD was allotted $253,402 to use over the next two years to purchase textbooks, supplemental materials and technology needed for instruction.

• Approved the nominations of Tim Arledge and Joan Ratliff for new two-year terms on the Milam County Appraisal District board of directors.

• Approved appointment of members to the district’s School Health Advisory Committee.

• Approved an adjunct faculty agreement with Milam County Extension Service and a resolution on extra-curricular status of the 4-H organization. Extension agents Jon Gersbach and Cheryl Walker will serve as the adjunct faculty members.

• Approved financial reports as presented.

• Approved a minor budget amendment.

• Hired Tina Barcak as a high school English teacher.

• Conducted a planned formative performance evaluation of Supt. Dr. Howell Wright in closed session.

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