More than 450 people have already started responding to an online Balance the Budget survey offered by Carroll Independent School District. The survey opened at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday following a Town Hall meeting on the district’s financial situation, and will remain open until 11:45 p.m. on Friday, November 18.
School officials say this is the second public survey they have conducted. Results of the 2011 survey will be compared with results of the 2010 survey and shared with the School Board/public on December 5.
The survey link cannot be found on the district’s website, but rather can be requested by CISD taxpayers, CISD parents and CISD employees by emailing email@example.com. Once the requestor’s mailing address is verified, the survey link is sent via email. Following the link and completing the survey is simple and anonymous for participants.
About 100 parents, employees and taxpayers joined school leaders to discuss the district’s $8 million state funding shortfall at Tuesday night’s Town Hall. It is one of more than 30 meetings school officials are conducting to share school budget information and collect feedback.
Superintendent David J. Faltys presented a brief overview of the district’s financial shortfall, including an explanation of how Trustees balanced this year’s budget, how much the district is losing in state funding next year and the various options being studied for balancing future budgets. The event was open to all taxpayers, parents and school employees and gave participants an opportunity to ask questions, submit written comments and/or address the Board during two-minute public comments.
“We are meeting face-to-face with a number of parent groups, community organizations and with the staff at each of our campuses to present an update on our financial situation and walk everyone through the options for balancing the budget,” said Dr. Faltys. “The Board did a great job getting us through this budget cycle, but we want to get input from our employees, taxpayers and parents before moving forward to address next year’s shortfall.”
Dr. Faltys said the Administration worked through the 2009-2011 Expenditure Reduction Plan, cutting about $3 million from the district’s operating budget. Still, the new finance bill approved by the 82 Texas Legislature resulted in an $8 million funding loss over the next biennium. The Board used federal Edujobs dollars, energy grant monies and reoccurring Build America Bond subsidies to cover the first $3 million shortfall, but they now face another $5 million loss in the 2012-2013 budget.
School officials surveyed the public in the fall of 2010 about the budget-cutting options being considered, but because the financial outlook has changed, they want to resurvey the public to see if their opinions or ideas have changed since the 82 Texas Legislature met and approved the finance bill.
The public can access a new website about the funding shortfall at CarrollBudget.com . School officials say the website offers a number of facts and links to details about the CISD budget. Site visitors are encouraged to review materials frequently as school officials answer questions and post responses to the new website. Questions about the Carroll budget can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.