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Interim superintendent outlines proposed 2017-2018 budget

May 18th, 2017 under Top Stories

By NICK WINCHESTER

nick@bigbendnow.com

MARFA — School board members heard interim superintendent Oscar Aguero’s preliminary budget proposal during a regular meeting Monday evening.

Despite presenting a balanced budget to the board, the motion to accept was tabled after board members requested further detail and clarification on certain items.

Aguero told board members, “I just want to tell you these are very, very preliminary numbers. We’re taking them off of non-certified values. We won’t get the certification until July 25.”

According to the figures Aguero presented, the proposed 2017-2018 expenditure will be $3,870,016.

While the revenue is calculated at $4,362,000, nearly $500,000 more than last year, Aguero pointed out that the school district’s Chapter 41 classification may change things.

In crude terms, a Chapter 41 classification means the state considers Marfa a “rich” district.

Classification is calculated by taking the district’s property value for the given tax year and the projected student attendance numbers. Districts with an equalized wealth level greater than $319,500 are identified as Chapter 41.

According to an annual TEA report, Marfa ISD is considered as having “rapidly increasing” property values.

Marfa ISD has last year lost $250,000 in state education funding because local property values – as high as they are – are less than what the state says what the values should be. The penalty has varied over the last few years. Board president Katie Price Fowlkes requested that the $250,000 sum be worked into the next budget proposal as it is likely to again be charged.

Staffing needs were also outlined in the budget. The school is in need of a special education teacher, a part-time Spanish teacher, as well as a coach-teacher. To this, Aguero said “Trying to get the right teacher that fits something that we need has been a bit of a struggle.”

Marfa ISD will lose four teachers at the end of this school year. First grade teacher, Susana Holguin, third grade teacher, Mihaku Rodriguez, and English language arts teacher, Amy Lane have handed in their resignations, while Peggy Thornsburg, a special education teacher, will retire.

Aguero and Board President Fowlkes agreed to table the motion until the June 19 meeting.

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