The Carroll School Board adopted an $81.9 million budget that reduces staffing by eight positions, gives a one-percent general pay increase and relies on flood control funds and Fund Balance to help cover costs. The budget is based on a tax rate of $1.42 per $100 assessed valuation, which includes a 1.5-cent drop in the debt service tax rate and a two-cent increase in the maintenance and operations tax rate. Voters will decide the outcome of the two-cent Tax Ratification Election (TRE) on September 15.
If the election passes the additional two cents will generate about $1.1 million in new tax revenues to help cover operating expenses. All of the money for the two cents will remain in Carroll ISD. If the election does not pass Trustees will consider a number of other options to address the deficit. The options include, but are not limited to using more Fund Balance to cover costs, changes to student schedules, class sizes, and/or programs; a reduction in teaching, support staff and administrative positions; the sale of property; a shift in the fiscal year; and/or other identified cuts. Early voting begins August 28 and ends on September 11. Details on voting times and locations are available on CarrollDragons.com.
The adopted budget is based on taxable values of $5.6 billion, an enrollment of 7,632 students and revenue per Weighted Average Daily Attendance (WADA) of $5,564 – down from $6,026 per WADA in the prior year. The budget also includes a one-time supplemental payment to all employees in a total amount not to exceed $690,000. Until this budget year, teachers had not had a raise in two years; all other staff had not had an increase in three years. The Board was able last year to use revenue from utility rebates to give a one-time supplemental paycheck of $650 ($325 for part-time positions) to employees.
The adopted budget accounts for the decrease in the one-time federal EduJobs funding which supplanted State funding in 2011-12. It also incorporates a $250 bus rider fee for all student riders, with a $500 family cap. The budget outlook calls for $79,147,968 in revenues and $81,960,215 in expenditures, requiring a projected $2,812,247 change in the district’s Fund Balance. If the TRE on September 15 does not pass, the deficit will be $3.9 million.
In other business, the Board: