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WFISD Adopts 2018-2019 Budget With One Cent Decrease in Tax Rate

WFISD Adopts 2018-2019 Budget With One Cent Decrease in Tax Rate

Board members vote in budget with step increase for teachers, librarians, and nurses; 1 percent raise for staff


In a 7-0 vote, WFISD board members finalized one of their most important duties of the year at the August 20, 2018 board meeting: They adopted an almost-balanced budget with a tax decrease for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

The budget includes a tax decrease of one cent in the Debt Service tax rate.

The budget gives the annual step increase to teachers, librarians and nurses, and a 1 percent pay hike to all other staff.

Both budget and tax rate were presented to the community in a Public Hearing held Monday at 5:30 p.m. prior to the board meeting, which began at 6 p.m.

The budget is a three-pronged entity, made up of the General Fund, Food Service Fund and Debt Service Fund. The total revenue from all three funds totaled $128,590,958; expenditures from all three funds totaled $129,179,038.

Because the District will carry forward a $1.1 million tax maintenance note in its General Fund from the year before, the General Fund posted a $1.1 million deficit, which led to an overall budget deficit of $588,080. However, if it weren’t for that, the budget that WFISD board members passed Monday would be a balanced one, said Tim Sherrod, WFISD chief financial officer.

Board members adopted the proposed $1.22 tax rate in a 7-0 vote. The two-pronged tax rate is made up of the Maintenance and Operations tax rate, set at $1.04 per $100 valuation of a taxpayer’s property, and the Debt Service tax rate, now set at 18 cents per $100 valuation, for a total of $1.22.

Based on the 2018 Certified Tax Roll from the Wichita Appraisal District, the proposed budget can be funded with no increase to the Maintenance and Operations tax rate and with the one-cent decrease to the Debt Service tax rate.

Region 9 Service Center Contract

In a 7-0 vote, board members approved the multiple contracts for Fiscal Year 2018-2019 between Region 9 Service Center and WFISD for a total of $306,405.11.

WFISD included 14 separate contracts/services in its agreement with Region 9. Contracted services include programs and technology that assist WFISD with accountability and compliance, administrative duties, district operations, instructional services, non-coop services, teaching and learning, and technology services.

The cost of services used by WFISD declined slightly over last year, which cost $306,821.


Order of Election for November 6, 2018

In a 7-0 vote, board members approved an Order of Election to be held November 6, 2018. Its purpose is to elect school trustees to five positions: District 1, District 3, District 5, At-Large-2 Year Term, and At-Large-4 Year Term.

The District has an unusually large number of places up for election, said Superintendent Mike Kuhrt.


Joint Election Contract and Election Services Contract

In a 7-0 vote, board members approved a Joint Election Contract and Election Services Contract with Wichita County, which typically handles elections for the city, county and school district.

The Wichita County Clerk agrees to coordinate, supervise and handle all aspects of administering the Joint Election according to the provisions of the Texas Election Code. The exact cost for its services is calculated after the election.

“This works out well for us,” said Mr. Kuhrt.


Applicant Pool

In a 7-0 vote, board members approved the hiring of four new teachers with a combined eight years of experience.

The hires whittle down the number of current job openings from 22 to 18, according to Human Resources Director Cyndy Kohl.



Board members celebrated campus and student achievements by recognizing 15 campuses and 66 individuals.

  • Burgess Elementary, Franklin Elementary, Lamar Elementary and Milam Elementary were recognized for earning recognition as a Seidlitz “7 Steps Campus.” They hosted district and Seidlitz visitors many times for “fidelity checks” before it was determined that they should be awarded the distinction of being a “7 Steps Campus.” According to Associate Superintendent Peter Griffiths, this distinction means that Seidlitz is confident that students and staff are involved in engaging instruction that involves all students and holds them accountable in their lessons.
  • Because of their Seidlitz success, eight more campuses will pursue certification for the 2018-2019 school year: Wichita Falls High School, Kirby Middle School, Barwise Middle School, Cunningham Elementary, Fowler Elementary, Scotland Park Elementary, Southern Hills Elementary and Zundy Elementary.
  • Three campuses in WFISD accomplished the nearly herculean task of climbing out of state accountability “Improvement Required” status and were applauded for their effort. Hirschi High School, Franklin Elementary and Booker T. Washington Elementary all earned a “Met Standard” state accountability rating by helping each child in their schools grow and improve academically. Franklin (under the direction of Principal Angie Betts) and Hirschi (under the direction of Principal Doug Albus) both accomplished the feat in one year; Booker T. Washington (under the direction of Principal Mark Davis) completed “a long journey” of working under the remedial title for seven out of the past eight years. “A lot of blood, sweat and tears,” said Mr. Griffiths of the school that did so well this year that it vaulted into the Top 5 of all WFISD campuses and received a “B” ranking from the state.
  • Board members recognized State Music Qualifiers from Hirschi High School: Choir students Sonya Ganeshram, Ila Kamath, and Katie (Ryann) Guthrie, all under the direction of Mineasa Nesbit; Orchestra students Kofi Agyepong and Alexis Nicolas, under the instruction of Desmond Juarez.
  • Board members recognized State Music Qualifiers (all underclassmen) from Rider High School: Band students Analisa Alvarez, Griffin Berend, Joseph Black, Damon Bryan, Dominic Chavez, Kirin Fisher, Logan Goins, Cole Haddock, Izabella Hilmi, Rylee Johnson, Isaiah Ketchum, Ashton Mastalsz, Ethan McConnell, Brendon Miller, Madison Nichols, Aiden Potter, Christian Ross, Nathan Savage, Joseph Scales, Reili Schell, Kevin Schultz, Spencer Simons, Marissa Smith, John Spears, Zach Springer, Rebecca Templemeyer, Kyler Wiechman, Cruz Wilkinson. Orchestra students are Mathew Bitz, Arianna Menden, Kara Rodgers, Aaron Wheat, Zayanna Uddin. These students were under the direction of Band/Orchestra Instructor Loy Studer.
  • Board members also recognized State Music Qualifiers from Rider in Choir: Elayna Anderson, Stephanie Anderson, Maya Arrendondo, Jaycee Bruner, Jenny Claus, Angelica Concepcion-Serrano, Cassie Coons, Izabella Hilmi, Carson Hollingsworth, Kyndal Isgett, Amaia Martin, Ashton Mastalsz, Heather Neal, Camille Ramsey, Augustine Reyna, Austin Taack, Hannah Wilson, Sydney Wisdom, Rebekah Woodward, Adam Turnbo – all under the direction of Choir Instructor Melanie Coons.
  • Board members recognized State Music Qualifiers from Wichita Falls High School, all of them underclassmen: Band members Chloe Bata and Robert Horvath, under the instruction of Justin Lewis and Andrew Checki; Choir members Trinity Denson, Claire Perry, Shannon Perry, Valeria Ruiz, Annie Scales and Emma Watson, under the direction of Chris Jarvis.


Consent Agenda

In a 7-0 vote, board members passed the Consent Agenda, which included:

  • Financial Reports as of June 30, 2018
  • CSP #14-28 Auto Insurance
  • RFP #18-27 Trades bid
  • RFP #18-29 Percentage Off Catalog: Athletic Supplies and Equipment
  • RFP #18-38 Student Passenger Buses and Special Needs Buses
  • Policy Update 111
  • Compensation Plan: Wage and Hours Laws; Policy DEAB (LOCAL)
  • Minutes
  • 2018-2019 T-TESS Appraisers