By LIBBY CLUETT
MILLSAP – Millsap ISD trustees met Monday and adopted a 2013-14 school year budget of $7.26 million, which reflects a rise from the 2012-13 budget of $6.73 million.
Superintendent David Belding attributed this to two factors – enrollment and the Texas Legislature.
MISD has seen an increase in students, which is one of only a few ways a district can raise revenue.
“We had a really nice enrollment increase to 737 [refined average daily attendance or RADA],” Belding explained of last year’s ending enrollment – a year in which the district budgeted for 700 students.
He said they built this school year’s budget off a RADA of 735.
Another positive for Millsap, and other school districts throughout the state, filtered down from legislative actions that took place last spring in Austin.
Belding said the Legislature partially restored the 2011 cuts. In the last biennium, the state cut $5.4 billion from public school education. Earlier this year, it restored $3.4 billion.
“What the Legislature did for us was huge,” Belding said.
While the state didn’t restore all the cuts, what they did “translates to a little more than $200,000 a year for our district,” he said. “I appreciate what they did for us.”
Belding admitted, though, that it would have been nice to have the entire amount restored.
With the additional funds, the district was about to give teachers and staff raises averaging at 3 percent.
“It’s the money from the Legislature that helped,” Belding noted.
He added that MISD will also be able to “hire consultants to work with us on Reading and Writing professional development for teachers.”
To improve security, the district will also be able to use the extra funds for “purchasing two-way radio systems to make sure we have good communication across our district,” he added. “We had these on the buses, but now administration, secretaries, the school resource officer and nurses will have them.”