GISD locks in budget for FY2025, tax rate pending

Total revenues and expenditures increased by 4 percent in Gladewater ISD’s $22 million financial plan for Fiscal Year 2024-2025.
Notably, GISD trustees did not adopt a tax rate June 24 for the new budget – it’s not uncommon as the district (and other taxing entities) await certified values from local appraisal districts, due later in July.
In other business Monday, the board signed off on exemptions tied to the district’s switch to a four-day week and rubber-stamped policy updates handed down by the state legislature.
The balanced budget adopted for the current FY2024 totals $21,078,340. The FY25 budget comes in at $21,915,710, a year-to-year increase of $837,370.
Chief Financial Officer Candy Keller walked trustees through the finalized budget ahead of unanimous approval. During the requisite public meeting, Keller noted the revenues were right in line with projections.
“I felt we had good, solid numbers,” she said. Notably, “The number we get from our taxpayers ($6,346,022) is now lower than the number we get from the state ($15,219,688), which is opposite where we were several years ago.”
The curriculum line item in the budget stands out, increasing 135 percent on paper – one position will now utilize operating expenses, previously covered by sunsetting ESSER funds.
District of Innovation Co-Chair Opal Smith laid out the necessary state policy exemption that will allow GISD to begin the school year Aug. 6 on a four-day schedule.
“It balances the length of the fall and the spring semester to align with summer school, internships and different things like that,” she said. A second variance adapts standard 10-month / 187-day teacher contracts for the truncated schedule: “The benefits would be reduced teacher contract days with no effect to teacher salaries,” consequently increasing the daily rate of pay for teachers, enhancing recruitment and improving morale.
Trustees also approved an exemption tied to transfers – per updated policy, on the rare occasion a student’s behavior warrants suspension, out-of-school placement or expulsion, the district will not be required to honor the pupil’s enrollment for the standard one-year minimum.

– By James Draper

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