GISD adopts $21 million budget for ’23-24

Districts statewide await word from Austin on school taxes


Gladewater ISD trustees unanimously-approved the district’s financial plan for the 2023-2024 school year Monday night – the balanced budget includes total estimated revenues of $21,078,340, a 6.9 percent increase over the prior year.

Importantly, the 4-0 adoption June 26 only considered the GISD budget based on preliminary property values – adoption of a tax rate for the district won’t come until after certified values are released.

Storm winds June 16 wrecked half a dozen trees at Gladewater High School. Overall, the district weathered the storm well, Dr. Cedric Clark told board members June 26: “Fortunately, we experienced minimal damage.”

“We always adopt our budget on the preliminaries because that’s the information we have available at that time,” GISD Chief Financial Officer Glenda Hickey reminded the board. Other factors outside the district’s control come into play as well: “Honestly, we don’t know what our max compression rate will be. It’s still being discussed in legislation right now,” tied up in special sessions in Austin.

According to, tax rate compression means “using state funds to buy down school district M&O tax rates to reduce property tax bills.”

While that’s still being debated by elected officials at the state level, Gladewater ISD and other districts have to keep moving forward – the tax rate used for budgetary purposes includes Maintenance & Operation at $0.9309 per $100 valuation plus Interest & Sinking at $0.2336.

“That’s going to give us a tax rate of $1.1645,” Hickey said, repeating its preliminary nature. “I believe last year when we actually adopted it was $1.28 – it has definitely gone down.

Once solid numbers are in-hand, “We’ll recalculate again. If it makes a significant difference, we may do a budget amendment. If the difference is minor, we may leave the budget as it is.”

Balancing revenues with spending, the school board adopts the budget on the function level, Hickey noted. That includes categories for everything from Instruction (50.05 percent of the budget) to Maintenance & Operation (14.26%) to Student Transportation (5.55%) and other functions.

“Our budget is 76 percent salaries. That’s pretty good,” she added. “As you would expect, instruction is going to be the highest percentage, and anything related to instruction.

“Everything should lean toward serving students, what we’re here for.”

Among a variety of other agenda items June 26, the board heard a brief Superintendent’s Report from Dr. Cedric Clark, including an update on how the school weathered the June 16 storm: “Fortunately, we experienced minimal damage,” Clark said. Among various damages, the tennis court fence will need repairs and six trees were lost at Gladewater High School. Meanwhile, “We were in the last week of summer school but had to cancel and close all of our offices due to widespread power outages.”

Clark thanked the school’s employees and supporters who turned out to lend a hand during recovery efforts.

Board members also considered final budget amendments for the 2022-2023 school year, approved a handful of tax refunds and adopted legal policy updates passed on from the Texas Association of School Boards.

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