Sabine ISD is set to move into the 2019-2020 school year in the black, according to figures discussed at June 28 SISD board meeting.
On Friday, SISD trustees met in the administration boardroom at the district’s Gladewater campus to hold a public hearing before reviewing, discussing and passing the upcoming school year’s budget and several budget amendments.
Director of Business Operations Kevin Yandell told trustees financial assessments indicated the district would move into the new school year with a profit.
“Our proposed budget last year was a deficit of $121,084,” Yandell said. “They’re proposing a profit of $404,803 this year. That’s the first time in about four years we’ve been able to have an initial proposed budget in the black. We’re grateful to be able to provide that to you.”
The shift from a deficit to a profit represents a $525,887 change.
“And that’s with lowering taxes and giving teachers raises,” said board president Tony Raymond, referring to the effects of Texas House Bill 3, which mandates additional school funding to provide minimum salary schedule increases to teachers and select school staff while cutting property taxes statewide. The state of Texas provides funding to schools in a per-student “basic allotment”. HB 3 boosted the basic allotment to $6,160 per student, according to the Texas Education Agency.
“That includes several projects that, had they not passed House Bill 3, we probably would not have been able to do,” Yandell said, referring to the district’s profit for the new school year.
HB 3 was passed by the 86th Texas Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott June 11.
“It includes the state-mandated revenue increase that we had that added about $2.2 million to our revenue but it also mandated that we give our teachers and counselors, librarians and nurses mandated raises. Our other employees, they said we could give raises to certain numbers of them and that’s why our payroll budget for 2019-2020 is approximately $967,000 more than the original budget for 2018-19,” Yandell said.
SISD Superintendent Stacey Bryce said the funding situation could improve further, as the current profits only reflect the situation “as of now.”
“There could be some more funding coming in when all the dust settles,” Bryce said.
In addition to a budget in the black, SISD also reported an increase in revenue over last year’s budget.
“Looking at the general fund first, the total estimated revenue is $13,532,561. That is basically $2.2 million more than what it was last year, or a 19.6 percent increase. Our total appropriations for the proposed budget are $13,127,758 or $1,691,837 more than they were last year, which equates to a 14.79 percent increase,” Yandell said.