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PNGISD looks at 2019–’20 budget

GROVES — The effects of the newly adopted school finance overhaul look to be a positive note for Port Neches-Groves Independent School District as officials work on their annual budget.

Sheri Drawhorn, business manager for PNGISD, said the overhaul to the school finance system includes changes to the funding structure to provide more equity. One portion of the change is a mandated lowered tax rate for all school districts, and for PNGISD that’s an estimated $1.07 per $100 valuation for the maintenance and operations portion of the tax rate compared to last year’s $1.17 per $100 valuation. Drawhorn said this is great news for the taxpayers in the district.

Another plus for the district is a new reduction in what they and other wealthy districts pay in recapture that subsidizes poor districts.

“Under the old law we would have had to send $400,000 back, and now we have to send nothing back,” Drawhorn said.

Teacher raises were discussed during a recent school board meeting. The state has changed the formula, increasing the basic student allotment calculation from $5,140 per student to $6,160 per student for a increase of $1,020 per student, and the district must take 30% of the total figure and use it for raises. This means the state must pitch in about $1.5 million and the district will contribute about half-a-million.

Some numbers

The district is looking at preliminary revenue of about $49.5 million, and with raises the projected expenditure is about $48.1 million.

“We have a very positive preliminary outcome,” she said.

Some of the capital expenditures, which are preliminary, include:

  • Credit Union building remodel — $400,000: The district traded land on the corner of Merriman and Magnolia with Neches Federal Credit Union for their Magnolia location. Once the new credit union is completed the district will move all of its administrative offices to the new location.
  • Jumbotron screen — $225,000: Replacement of the control system is underway and the screen is already 12 years old. This would upgrade the whole system to HD and allow for slow motion replay.
  • Bus cover — $275,000: This will cover one side of the bus parking lot and get the buses out of the elements.

Other expenditures:

  • Christmas stipends, $200 per employee — $145,000
  • Health insurance benefit increase — $69,000
  • Stipend and days adjustments — $67,400

Drawhorn said there will likely be another budget meeting to be held before the July 8 school board meeting.

The district’s budget must be approved by Aug. 31. Drawhorn said the board will likely vote on the budget at the Aug. 12 meeting.

 

See also: PNGISD picks project manager for potential bond