Archive for August 28th, 2012

Austin school board approves budget, tax rate

The Austin school board Tuesday night unanimously approved the 2012-13 $742.2 million operations budget and tax rate.

The meeting was sparsely attended, with only one person speaking at the public hearing on the budget and a few signed up for a separate citizens communications.

Ken Zarifis, president of Education Austin, which represents about 3,000 teachers and other district employees said that while the district was dipping into its reserves by $14.2 million to give employees a one-time pay increase equivalent of 3 percent, it was time to ask voters to approve a tax rate increase to make raises permanent.

“We have no doubt that they will support our teachers, our school employees and give them the raise they duly deserve,” Zarifis said.

The district will keep its tax rate the same, at $1.242 per $100 of assessed value, with $1.079 for operations and 16.3 cents for debt. The owner of an average taxable value home, $244,534 after exemptions, would pay $3,037 annually, an increase of $7.

The budget includes launching several initiatives, including the new IDEA in-district charter school, expanding dual language programs to more schools and adding programs to help at-risk students graduate. The district also increased resources for growing special education needs in the early grades by $1.8 million; the district already designates $85 million in local funding for special education.

Earlier in the evening, the school board approved the appointment of Eric Mendez, who has served as the interim, as the new district police chief. He’s been with the district since 1999.

Trustees also approved the appointment of Michelle Krejci, the executive director for the Ann Richards Foundation, as the new executive director of innovation and development. Krejci helped raise $2 million for the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders.

Austin school board approves budget, tax rate

The Austin school board Tuesday night unanimously approved the 2012-13 $742.2 million operations budget and tax rate.

The meeting was sparsely attended, with only one person speaking at the public hearing on the budget and a few signed up for a separate citizens communications.

Ken Zarifis, president of Education Austin, which represents about 3,000 teachers and other district employees said that while the district was dipping into its reserves by $14.2 million to give employees a one-time pay increase equivalent of 3 percent, it was time to ask voters to approve a tax rate increase to make raises permanent.

“We have no doubt that they will support our teachers, our school employees and give them the raise they duly deserve,” Zarifis said.

The district will keep its tax rate the same, at $1.242 per $100 of assessed value, with $1.079 for operations and 16.3 cents for debt. The owner of an average taxable value home, $244,534 after exemptions, would pay $3,037 annually, an increase of $7.

The budget includes launching several initiatives, including the new IDEA in-district charter school, expanding dual language programs to more schools and adding programs to help at-risk students graduate. The district also increased resources for growing special education needs in the early grades by $1.8 million; the district already designates $85 million in local funding for special education.

Earlier in the evening, the school board approved the appointment of Eric Mendez, who has served as the interim, as the new district police chief. He’s been with the district since 1999.

Trustees also approved the appointment of Michelle Krejci, the executive director for the Ann Richards Foundation, as the new executive director of innovation and development. Krejci helped raise $2 million for the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders.

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