The Board of Trustees voted unanimously during an Aug. 28 workshop to approve the projected budget revenues and expenditures for the Glen Rose Independent School District’s 2017-2018 cycle. The Board will consider the proposed tax rate in a meeting on Monday, Sept. 25.

Superintendent Wayne Rotan presented the six board members in attendance with a budget proposal of $24,538,913. That represents an 8.34 percent decrease from the 2016-2017 total.

The trustees voted to approve the new budget, 6-0. Trustee Brady Brown was absent.

“The Board also approved a ‘proposed tax rate’ of .88 M&O and .114 I&S for a combined tax rate of .994 per $100 valuations,” Rotan stated.

He noted that the GRISD lost $3.2 million of Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction (ASATR) that could have offset a revenue loss for the tax reduction. That’s because the GRISD is among the school districts in Texas listed as “property wealthy” under Chapter 41 of the Texas Education Code and has to send approximately $6 million to the state through the “Robin Hood” school funding system. Since 1993 when that system began, the GRISD has surrendered $575 million in local tax dollars to the state.

“In 2006, the state legislature lowered property tax rates by 1/3 and promised to make up the lost revenue to districts with Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction (ASATR) to offset the revenue loss for the tax rate reduction,” Rotan stated. “The Texas Legislature failed to meet the promise of ASATR beginning September 1, 2017. Glen Rose ISD lost $3.2 million dollars of ASATR funding for the 2017-2018 school year.

“As a result of the loss of ASATR funding, the state continues to lower the state share of public education further putting the burden on local taxpayers.”

Rotan noted that teachers and staff members received a 1.5 percent raise to the midpoint of the salary schedule for the respective pay grade.

“Salary increases were offset by replacing and absorbing vacant positions,” Rotan stated. “Salaries and benefits comprise almost 80 percent of Glen Rose ISD expenditures. Glen Rose ISD has absorbed over 30 positions since 2009-2010 as the amount of available revenue has declined by almost a $38 million cumulative total over that time period. Fuel and electricity are the next highest category of expenditures totaling approximately 10 percent.”