School Board Approves New Budget

The 2017-2018 budget was approved as well as the projected tax rate to fund the budget in Monday’s meeting of the PISD School Board. The Board also approved the various campus improvement plans as well as a class-size waiver for a few kindergarten classes.

Rusty Craig presented the budget in a public hearing before the general meeting began and the gallery room was filled.

The Board eventually approved the 2017-2018 budget as presented in the hearing as follows: Fund 199 — $104,900,000 (general fund); Fund 599 — $27,500,000 (interest & sinking / debt); Fund 240 — $3,910,000 (food service); Federal — $1,125,000 (Title and Spec. Education); Fund 164 — $175,000 (athletic activity fund); For a total budget of $137,610,000. The projected tax rate to fund this budget is $1.17 (Maintenance & Operation) and $0.50 (Interest & Sinking) for a total of $1.67. This is not an increase over last year’s rate. More detailed information including the tax-rate history is available on the PISD website.

In his Board Briefs memo prepared after the meeting, Superintendent Dr. Drew Watkins explained the Financial/Investment/Tax Reports for July 2017 approved by the Board. “As of the end of July, we had approximately $216.5 million (approximately $78.2 million of which is general fund with the rest dedicated to construction/capital and/or I&S). We have realized 111 percent (115 percent) of our projected revenue for Fund 199. Local revenue is over 100 percent as it was last year, which simply means we realized more students than projected in the budget. As funding goes, unfortunately, state funding will decrease as a result of the local revenue increase. Also, we will expect ‘payback’ on the settle up in September. We have expended 85.2 percent of 199 compared to 82.4 percent last year (see the district website for more detailed financial information).”

Construction updates were presented by Jim Tony, construction coordinator for the Prosper Independent School District. At the Miramonte Elementary site grading is completed. Storm and Sanitary sewers are started and chemical injection for underground utilities inside the building are in progress. For the Light Farms Elementary site grading has begun and temporary access roads are ongoing while the contractor is removing the excess dirt pile on the north side of the site. The field office trailer should be on site next week.

For Middle School No. 3, the final design meetings with PISD departments are nearing completion. Preliminary civil designs have been approved by the city of Frisco in preparation for full design submittals. Annexation documents are in the process of completion for application.

Concept documents for the new football stadium have been sent to the town of Prosper P&Z Commission for approval while meetings with PISD departments are ongoing in preparation for design documents for High School No. 2. Discussions regarding Coit Road including turn and deceleration lanes are continuing with the city of Frisco. Watkins said he expects the construction will begin on the new high school in late spring of 2018.

Watkins also reported the current enrollment. He said 52 students enrolled Monday bringing the total enrollment to 11,943 which is about 1,600 more than end of school last year – essentially a 16 percent increase. “The great news is that we have added many new amazing families… the less than great news is that this is just the front end of the growth storm,” Watkins said. “Our projections between now and 2025 push our student enrollment to about 30,000 students. Track growth information and timing of facilities on the district FAQ document located on the district website.”

The Board cleaned up some zoning for attendance concerning some of the northern district borders. Up-to-date maps may be located online on the PISD website.

Joyce Godwin | Joyce@CedarbrookMedia.Com

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