School board sets $99 million budget, Moore refuses pay raise
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The school board approved its slightly lowered tax rate, $99 million budget and increased pay for all staff except Superintendent Bob Moore on Thursday night.
"I just didn't feel like it was right, with everybody cutting back, for me to take a salary increase," Moore said.
Moore refused a 2 percent raise approved for all staff and refused a $500 stipend last year as well.
The board applauded Moore's show of leadership.
"What becomes more evident every day is that Mr. Moore is committed to our kids and our community," said board member Lou Svetlik.
This year, teachers received a 2 percent pay increase that amounts to about $1,000. Staff received a $750 minimum increase or two-percent raise, whichever is greater.
"This is in line with what most other districts are doing in the state of Texas," said Eloy Chapa, director of human resources.
District employees also received an extra $19 a month to go toward health insurance costs.
The board unanimously approved the $99 million budget, which includes a tax rate of $1.3226 per $100 valuation. The rate is slightly lower than last year's rate of $1.3227.
Total local revenues from property taxes will be $42.5 million, said Francis Koch, executive director of budget and finance.
The board also discussed possibly receiving additional federal funds from the Federal Jobs Bill. If Gov. Rick Perry decides to apply for the funds at the state level by Sept. 9, the district could receive about $2.6 million, Moore said.
"One thing we could use it for would be to keep people employed or to pay increased wages for staff," he said.
The budget also plans for 12,800 students, an increase of 500 students from last year, because of an increase in enrollment numbers.
The district board also approved David Lynn as the first principal of the Career and Technology Institute.
"It's fantastic that we're going to be able to have that and continue pushing the envelope in career and technology," said board president Tami Keeling.
Lynn was formerly an assistant principal at Howell Middle School and summer school principal for the district. He has a master's degree from Texas A&M in Corpus Christi.