Devine ISD trustees approve tax rate reduction

Good news for property Taxpayers! At their regular monthly meeting on June 18, 2018, the Devine ISD School Board unanimously approved the ordinance setting the 2018 Devine ISD ad valorem tax rate at $1.335, down from $1.37. The lowering of the rate was in the Interest & Sinking Fund portion of the tax rate, from .20 to .165. The district paid off the 2009 Refunding Bond, which enabled them to reduce that portion of the tax.
The trustees also adopted the final amended budget to close out the 2017-18 school year, which was presented by DISD Director of Finance, Shannon Ramirez. One end of year purchase will be a new truck for the maintenance department to pull the trailer which carries the mowing equipment. The cost will be under $25,000 and will replace an older truck which had lots of miles on it. There was still room in the Maintenance budget for this purchase.
The 2018-2019 budget was also adopted. A few of the interesting District Initiatives included funds spent on these important areas: Teacher raises of $500 step increases & all other staff receiving 2% midpoint table raises ($270,000); Projects for security fencing and entrances ($200,000); and fiber projects to update technology services ($195,000) The overall budget, adopted though, has a deficit of $177,070 which will be covered by the $9,000,000 fund balance.
“Because of an increase in enrollment, we were able to keep all positions, prioritize safety, and give raises with the new budget. Even though we are adopting a deficit budget, the $195,000 fiber project has potential to be reimbursed by the Federal E-Rate program.”-Shannon Ramirez
Director of Special Programs, Glenda Allen, gave a very informative explanation of the federally funded Title programs within our district. Title I may be the most familiar, but she explained the differences in Titles I, II, III & IV in more detail. “Federal funding affects our budget, has more strings attached, and are supplemental”., G. Allen
Something noticeably new in front of the trustees was the addition of iPads! This is an effort to have paperless board meetings, and have more information readily available to the board members. Superintendent Secretary, Geri Woods, set up the iPads and offered assistance as needed. Board President, Nancy Pepper, said that she may need training, and welcomed suggestions and input from other board members. However, they will continue to provide paper agenda packets for any trustee that wants one.
Superintendent Scott Sostarich announced that DISD Central Office will be closed this Friday, June 22, as well as, July 4-6.
The board went into Closed Session at 7:17pm. When the board reconvened, they took action on the following: Carl Brown moved and seconded by Robert Morales to hire professional staff as recommended by Superintendent. Motion carried 6-0 to hire: Alejandra Esqueda, Sped-LSSP, Julia Hoog, DIS-3rd Grade Teacher, Tiffany Balencia, DMS-Science Teacher, Randall Graf, DMS-Math Teacher, Virginia Rodriguez, DMS-ELAR Teacher, Mark Berg, DHS-English Teacher, and Lucy Paige, DHS-FCS Teacher.
The following board members were present: President Nancy Pepper, Wes Herring, Carl Brown, Robert Morales, Keri James, & Phillip Fitch. Henry Moreno was absent. The DISD School Board will meet next month for a regular monthly meeting on Monday, July 16, 2018 at 6:30pm at the DISD Administrative Building at 605 W. Hondo Ave., Devine, Texas.