The Northside ISD Board of Trustees Tuesday night approved a $1.013 billion budget and a 1-cent tax increase for the 2011-12 school year. The tax rate will rise from $1.3655 to $1.3755 in order to pay off bonds for new schools and renovation and expansion projects. Despite the increase, the tax rate is 6 cents lower than what was projected when voters passed School Bond 2010.
The 1-cent increase means the owner of home valued at $161,373 - the average in NISD - will pay $11.91 more in property taxes this year. The Board of Trustees held a public hearing on the budget and tax rate last week.
The 2011-12 budget includes a cut of $61.4 million and the elimination of 973 staff positions to absorb a cut in state funding. The staff positions were cut through attrition (retirements and resignations), and though no one has been laid off, hundreds of employees have been asked to change positions and/or job responsibilities. In addition, the salaries of all employees have been frozen from last school year to this school year.
"To only be looking at a 1-cent tax increase, cut $61.4 million from our budget, eliminate almost 1000 positions, and not allow anyone to lose their job because of the financial situation is outstanding," Superintendent John Folks said. "I am so proud of all the work that has been done, and the success we have had in developing a budget that will address the ineptness of our state in funding education, and keep our district on the path to educational excellence."