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The Burnet Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees approved a 2 percent mid-point general pay increase at its regular meeting Monday, April 18. The raise includes all administrative, professional, clerical, paraprofessional, and auxiliary staff who were not part of the March 28 pay bump. 

At the March 28 board meeting, trustees increased the starting salary for new teachers and librarians to $51,000 from $49,610 and made “targeted market adjustments at years 1-9,” according to a statement from BCISD Superintendent Keith McBurnett after Monday’s meeting.

Also on Monday, trustees approved a new stipend schedule for athletics, academics, and fine arts extra duty. The changes help level the field across the market for applicable BCISD staff.

The increases will cost the district a little more than $1 million. 

Administrative staff outlined how the district can pay for it. According to Chief Financial Officer Clay Goehring, who reviewed the 2022-23 budget information at a March 7 special board meeting and budget workshop, student enrollment growth models show increased attendance will have a big — and positive — impact on school funding. The state of Texas provides funding based on a district’s average daily attendance. School districts also rely on locally generated property taxes.

District administrators are building a 2022-23 budget on a student attendance rate of 93 percent, where it historically used an attendance rate of 96-97 percent. The more conservative approach is based on projected growth, which officials estimate will generate an additional $2.5 million in the 2022-23 budget to cover the pay raises, new positions, and inflation-caused cost increases. 

BCISD also is looking at another decrease in its maintenance and operation tax rate for the coming fiscal year. The early projection for the M&O rate is 86.46 cents per $100 property valuation, a drop of 1.74 cents compared to the current rate. A school property tax rate is comprised of two parts: maintenance and operation and interest and sinking, also known as debt service. 

BCISD trustees will hold another budget workshop in June with the budget and tax rate adoption slated for August. 

IN OTHER BUSINESS

The board approved a high bid of $850,000 for 25 acres that BCISD owns in Bertram. McBurnett stated the property isn’t suitable for a future school site, and proceeds from the sale will be used to buy land for future campus locations to address enrollment growth. 

daniel@thepicayune.com