HOUSTON – June 22, 2016 – The Spring Independent School District Board of Trustees adopted a 2016-17 operating budget, at a Special Called Session on June 21, that supports the priorities included in the district’s five-year strategic plan Every Child 2020.
“We believe it is our responsibility to educate every student to compete and lead in today’s global society,” said Ann Westbrooks, chief financial officer. “That requires a high-performing workforce and programs that support students academically from early childhood through graduation. We are working hard – with limited funds – to offer more opportunities and choices to our families while maintaining the strong programs already in place.”
The budget includes a one percent cost-of-living raise for all staff and increases the starting teacher salary to $51,760. The budget will allow the district to hire more foreign language teachers and begin adding foreign language courses at both middle- and high-school levels, a move that will help students meet state graduation requirements. Additionally, the budget supports expanding Career and Technical Education elective courses districtwide.
The district uses a zero-based, priority-focused approach to develop its budget, and spends months prioritizing district needs, including input from campus and district administrators.
The $377 million operating budget, which includes $299,145,504 in the general fund, $51,892,706 in the debt service fund and $26,018,615 in the child nutrition fund, will be supported by a proposed tax rate of $1.47.
The operating budget is estimated to require a Maintenance and Operations tax rate of $1.04, which is the same as last year, while the Interest and Sinking tax rate of $0.43 will be used to pay the debt service requirements on outstanding bonds. A combination of the M&O and I&S tax rates brings the district’s total to $1.47 per $100 valuation.
The tax rate is based on preliminary certified assessments of property values within the district. Board action on the tax rate will be taken in October after the District receives certified tax rolls from the Harris County Appraisal District.
A public hearing was held prior to the board’s adoption of the budget to give citizens an opportunity to express their views and opinions. Summary copies of the budget are available upon request and online at www.springisd.org/transparency.