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Longview ISD board adopts budget for 2012-13 year

By Christina Lane
Aug. 29, 2012 at 11 p.m.

The Longview ISD school board on Wednesday adopted a budget that was $1.6 million shy of being balanced but maintained a stable tax rate.

"I asked the board to adopt a very conservative budget," said Lynn Marshall, assistant superintendent of finance. "It is my hope that when the books close on Aug. 31, 2013, that we will not be $1.6 million short."

The district's general operating budget shows revenues of $60,331,662 and expenditures of $62,010,247.

The district's 2011 budget had a deficit of about $967,000; however, Marshall said when the fiscal year ends Friday, the school district will actually finish the year in the black.

If Longview ISD's student enrollment increases in 2012-13, it will mean more revenue for the district, and Marshall said he is also hopeful that not all money budgeted will be spent. Should the district need to pull money from its fund balance, Longview ISD has a little more than $38 million in savings, Marshall said.

In the approved 2012-13 budget, the district increased pay for hourly auxiliary and paraprofessional employees but does not include raises for any professional positions.

A district spokesman said Longview ISD was losing auxiliary and paraprofessional employees to neighboring school districts that paid more money.

"In some areas, we weren't competitive at all," Marshall added.

The district increased its starting pay for each pay grade and then adjusted the salary for employees with more years of experience, he said.

For 12-month employees, the pay change will be retroactive to July 1 and will be shown on the next paycheck received, Marshall said. For 10-month employees, the change will take effect on their September paycheck.

The budget also included money to buy at least two new school buses, 30 new band uniforms for high school band members, and some new instruments for middle school bands.

For the district's taxpayers, the tax rate will remain the same at $1.513 per $100 valuation. Should individual property values have increased from the Appraisal District, it is possible homeowners could pay more on their tax bill. Taxes on a $150,000 home would be $2,269.50.



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