FISD adopts budget, employee compensation plan

During its regular June 29, 2020 meeting, the Forney Independent School District Board met to hold budget public hearing, get construction updates, consider employee compensation plan.

  • Held a one-hour executive session.
  • 2020-2021 Budget Public Hearing - Mr. John Chase, Chief Financial Officer, said the budget is largely the same as presented before.   Enrollment determines how many teachers needed, how much state aid, facility planning.   Sold bonds as were predicting would run out of room soon.   Average enrollment is 5.5% per year for 10 years.   Coronavirus means many unknowns for next year.   Had 11,977 students, expect to have 12,886.  
        Property values: 2016 had 17% growth (about 6% prior year), 15% growth isn't sustainable, built budget on 13.6% increase.   HB 3 will require compressing tax rate based on property values.   Biggest value change is Single Family (SF), up 70% since 2016.   Commercial has increased (about 35%).   AG declined as property moving out of AG.   Total market value was 4 bn in 2016, 6.4 bn now.
        Combined budget: estimated revenue 142.5 million, appropriations 140.1 million.   General fund is 78%, debt service 18%, food service 4%.   80% of general fund is payroll.   HB 3 has moved from using previous year property valuations to estimated current year.   Max compressed rate was 93 cents, will be 84, allowed to add 1 enrichment penny, tax rate likely to be 1.39 instead of current 1.47.   Using 7% enrollment increase for calculations.   General fund is 44.6% local, state 54.5%, 0.9% federal.  
        Expenditures: added 3% midpoint raises, needed to make market adjustments to remain competitive.   Still have retention pay, could be cut out if necessary.   18 persons haven't been hired yet, may need to hire some if do online instruction.
        Borrowed 6 mil payment is due soon; 3.5 million in budget for capital improvements, will hold that.   Have fire panel at 4 million, but might get state money.
        General Fund balance - have about 4 months, state target is 3 months, could weather some hard times.   Could use some for projects, but behooves them to retain the balance instead of spending on construction.
        Summary: revenue up 2.6% even though enrollment up 8%, due to a 6 million underpayment previous year. Expenditures up 5.2%.   Food service numbers skewed due to not having revenue for 9 weeks.  
        Debt service fund: revenue up 9.9%, expenditures up 19%, due to bond payment.
        Assuming 50-cent tax-rate, expect fund balance 27.2 million, debt service payments 15.1 mill.   Surplus will be used to service bonds to be issued in Aug.
        Will adopt tax rate Aug 31.   If (property values) increase is less than 13.6%, will have to publish notice rate might be 1.40, instead of current 1.47.  
        Mr. Andrews asked about retention stipend amount: 600k.   Get CARES Act funding about $430k, so state reduces aid by that amount, which won't get until next Fiscal year.   Mr. Carroll asked about unknowns due to parents whose incomes are not stable, as soon as school starts fundraisers will start asking parents and businesses to contribute, and that may not be much.   Any way the budget can help with things like equipment and supplies, and get out of parents' pockets? Mr. Chase said don't know what sports looks like, so band boosters might not get concession income.   Staff has meetings scheduled about this.   Board could approve moving some construction funds to extracurricular - staff has been looking at it.
        Dr. Terry said hes proud of what is presented and staff work, amazing change from 10 years ago, many safety-nets in budget.   Not many districts have such a surplus.   Average Daily Attendance (ADA) is a concern across the state.   When presented bond proposals, said tax rate would not go up, will be going down about 8-cents with 18 construction projects underway.   Mr. Chase thanked everyone who helped him construct the budget.
        There was no public input.
  • Monthly Financial Report - Mr. John Chase, Chief Financial Officer
        collected 87% of budget, expenses also 87%, about same as last year.
  • District Operation Report - Dr. Justin Terry, Superintendent of Schools presented the report about preparing to return to school: doing health screenings, operating by appointment only with public, will until late July.   Athletes have been practicing since June 8.   July will bring back all staff, will be wearing masks, daily health screens.   Opening to public in small groups, adding sneeze-guards.   Leaning on guidance of state officials, multiple settings will be allowed, including a virtual option.   State Commissioner has not offered guidance yet on classrooms.   Have 3 task forces on safety, facilities, wellness, virtual academy.   Have been communicating almost daily w/ community, probably reduce to weekly soon.
  • Master Planning Update
        Ms. Kim Morisak, Chief of Information, Innovative and Technology Services presented a fly-over video of the Griffin Elementary school.
        Mr. Jeff Fisher said have 16 projects going; admin, Claybon hub close to being done; Criswell paying for parent loop + canopy almost done, pouring sidewalk soon; broke ground at Griffin elem; Jackson / Rhodes: piers have been drilled 918+6, infrastructure is underway; Rhea stage renovation has been removed, folding walls at Rhea and Smith coming soon, light fixtures are hard to get; Citybank stadium track and turf remodel underway; FHS culinary remodel going well, also waiting on some light fixtures; FHS library and 3 new classrooms underway, skylight been removed.   FHS welding making good progress; NFHS animal science working inside building, parent loop concrete is complete, starting on fencing; NFHS renovation where took out low walls in cafeteria, working on adding glass walls, est complete Sept due to delays on HVAC units.  
        Mr. Carroll asked about impacts on students at NFHS - shouldn't be any, can put in temporary fixtures.   Will start renovating the board room tomorrow, won't have AV equipment ready for next meeting.   Mr. Andrews asked if existing cafeteria at NFHS will still be usable - yes.   Will some of animal science be usable? Can have animals in the building while doing extensions.   Mr. Carroll asked if NFHS will have to modify lunch schedule due to cafeteria expansion not being done until later.   Dr. Terry said there is some flexibility available there.   Pres. Pharris thanked Huckabee for staying on top of things.
  • There was no public input.
  • Approved as one consent item
    • Budget Amendment
    • Furniture Purchase for Admin Phase 2-4 and North Forney Cafeteria Expansion (documents show this to be $55k)

  • Approved the 2020-2021 Budget - Mr. Chase said he recommends the presented budget.   Dr. Terry agreed.
  • Approved the 2020-2021 employee compensation plan
        Mr. Chase said they have moved personnel around, were having trouble finding sports-related personnel, this will make it easier.   Dr. Terry said has been a 3-yr project getting plan modified, is a very competitive plan.
  • Selected the 2020-2021 TASB Delegate & Alternate
        Mr. Greg Pharris, School Board President said will likely be some kind of convention.   Selected Mr. Andrews as the delegate, and Mr. Regan as alternate.
  • Approved Construction Bids
        Ms. Morisak, introduced Mr. Fisher who said they got a good number of bids, interviewed low bidders, 32.9 million + alt of 79k for canopies, budget was 40 million so 7.8 million under budget.
  • Approved increasing 2020-2021 lunch prices by 10 cents.
        Mr. Chase said as they accept federal funds, must use their formulas, need to add 10 cents to lunch and breakfast.   Lunches 3.10 at HS, 3.00 elem, 1.60 breakfast.   About 17/yr per student.
  • Approved the ratification of employment of professional contract personnel as presented in Closed Session
  • Approved Superintendent Evaluation Instrument as presented.
    A) Monday, August 3 @ 6:00 PM, Regular School Board Meeting
    Thursday, August 6 @ 8:30 AM, Groundbreaking for Jerry and Helen Griffin
    Elementary School @ Devonshire
    Friday, August 7 @ 8:30 AM, Groundbreaking for Tony Jackson Middle
    School/Tim Rhodes Intermediate School
    Monday, August 17 - First Day of School
  • Adjourned 2029.
Monday, 2020, June 29