Mansfield ISD Magazine Fall 2019 - Page 4

MISD BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE BALANCED BUDGET, LOWERED TAX RATE superintendent of business and finance. “I’m very pleased that we were able to propose a balanced budget while still compensating our educators above the amount that was required and keeping our salaries very competitive.” MISD’s 2019-20 general operating budget totals $307.6 million. Debt service is $58.3 million. The budget for student nutrition, which is not funded through local tax dollars, was approved for $18 million with no increase in student meal prices. The 2019-20 budget went into effect in July 2019. T he Mansfield ISD School Board unanimously approved a balanced budget for the 2019-20 school year. As part of the budget, 10-, 11- and 12-month employees received a 3% raise at their pay grade’s midpoint. Teachers, librarians, counselors and nurses with six or more years of experience received a 3.5% raise at the midpoint of their pay grade. House Bill 3 (HB 3), which was signed into law on June 11, gave more funding per student to Texas public school districts, but it was not an equitable bill. School districts do not receive the same dollar amount per student. Therefore, Mansfield ISD still receives less funding per student than the regional and state average. Despite that, MISD teachers were given more than twice the amount 4 MANSFIELDTODAY that is required under the law. “We put more money into raises than the new Texas school finance law required because we value our educators,” said School Board President Karen Marcucci. “There were, and still are, some unknowns about how the law will directly impact the district and what new mandates we will have to adhere to, so we as a district want to remain fiscally responsible as more of those specifics are being released.” Mansfield ISD’s new teacher salary is $56,019. That amount is higher than the starting teacher salary of most districts in the Metroplex. “The challenge we faced as a school district was having to create a budget without knowing the exact implications of the new school finance law,” said Dr. Karen Wiesman, associate In addition, Mansfield ISD’s tax rate has dropped from $1.54 to $1.46 per $100 of certified property value. Under the new tax rate of $1.46, 97 cents will go toward the maintenance and operations (M&O) fund, and 49 cents is for the debt service fund. The maintenance and operations budget funds daily costs and recurring or consumable expenditures, such as teacher and staff salaries, supplies, food, gas and utilities. The debt service fund is used to repay debt for longer- term capital improvements approved by voters through bond elections. “ We put more money into raises than the new Texas school finance law requires because we value our educators. KAREN MARCUCCI SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT