By Lindsay Starr Platt
The Board of Trustees of Belton Independent School District (ISD) met for a regular meeting on Monday night. The meeting started with a presentation by Phil Haggerty, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services, Belton ISD, on the 2016-2017 Budget update. Haggerty presented that, Belton ISD’s number one priority is to support academic achievement.
“Expenditures are based on enrollment. And our revenues are based on our attendance. You only get paid for attendance. But, we still have those costs and those costs are based on enrollment,” commented Randy Pittenger, President, Board of Trustees, Belton ISD. “You have to budget in case everyone is there and shows up.”
“We are funded by how many there is each day,” commented Haggerty on the importance of attendance by students.
After the presentation of the upcoming budget that has a total of $795,000, the board of trustees met for a closed session and reconvened in an open session. The open session was led with awards and recognitions of staff, students and community members. Students and coaches were also recognized for academic and athletic team accomplishments in state and regional qualifiers and championships to include; Academic UIL State Qualifiers, girl’s softball, and boy’s baseball.
This month’s Big Red Community Partner award was awarded to Acme Brick, Tile & Stone. Acme Brick, Tile & Stone, Temple helped students develop their masonry skills with generous donations of time and supplies. Masonry students have won a third consecutive state title in the SkillsUSA TeamWorks competition. The support of Acme Brick, Tile & Stone has also helped the students in preparation for the SkillsUSA TeamWorks national competition this June in Louisville, KY.
Superintendent, Susan Kincannon reported recent bond refunding for Belton ISD taxpayers. This recent refund will save taxpayers from interest payments from some of the bonds that were issued to fund the construction of South Belton Middle School.
“Some of the bonds issued for South Belton Middle School were at 4.375%-5% interest in 2010. We were able to refund that bond at true cost at 2.788%,” commented Kyle DeBeer, Communications Director
Belton ISD. “The difference is $1.18 million saved in interest payments this is the seventh time we have been able to refund bonds.”
“When local residents pay their property taxes or vote to approve a bond issue, they’re trusting us to be good stewards of their tax dollars,” remarked Pittenger. “It’s a responsibility that we take seriously.”
The board also approved the resignation and adding of district employees. Ed Stein was introduced as the new head band director. Stein had been employed by Belton ISD previously.
“It is great to be back. I am looking forward to it,” said Stein.
Board of Trustees approved a compensation plan and proposed salaries for 2016-2017. This action will give a 2% raise to employees based on their salary range midpoint. Health insurance plans purchased through the district, will go from $325 per month to $350 contributed by the school district for the employees.
“Our school board is committed to attracting and retaining high-performing administrators, faculty and staff,” said Kincannon. “Great employees makes a difference in our students’ lives.”
“Salary and benefits are drivers for employment. Is this the package you need to recruit and achieve our goal?”, asked Pittenger.
The board approved unamiously the superintendant’s salary of $195,000.
Also approved was Communities In Schools (CIS) cost for the school district to contribute $186,508 for 2016-2017. 55% of the salaries and benefits to CIS caseworkers will be covered by CIS and Belton ISD will cover the remaining 45%.
Belton Early Childhood School and Southwest Elementary both qualified for free preventive dental to be provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services with parent’s permission. Preventive services will include an oral evaluation, fluoride varnish treatment and dental sealants. The students, school or insurance companies will not be billed for the services.