MISD Board of Trustees act on tax rate reduction

By Dr. R.L. Richards
MISD Superintendent

With President Curtis Preston presiding at the June 28 noon School Board meeting, a room of administrators and board members were joyful about giving back to the community.
Carroll Precure moved and Jay Cage seconded as an unprecedented action was taken by the Muleshoe Board of Trustees to reduce the tax rate. Ashley Turnbow smiled and said, “Amen,” as Cage said, “This is a good faith effort on the part of our school.” Precure and Preston agreed that our community is moving in the right direction and has been very supportive.
“Now is the time to give back to our community!” said Lisa Whalin, as she proudly recommended the tax rate reduction.
It was stated in the meeting that this is the lowest tax rate Muleshoe ISD has approved since 1999. The tax rate heading into the 2000-2001 school year was $1.35. The 2018-19 tax rate will be $1.17 for Maintenance and Operations and $0.17 for Interest and Sinking (bond issues) for a total of $1.34.
Others attending the noon board meeting were: Dani Heathington, Assistant Superintendent; Letti Tovar, Dillman Elementary Principal; Jennifer Burrus, DeShazo Elementary Principal; Melvin Nusser, Watson Junior High Principal; Robert Wallace, Watson Junior High Assistant Principal; and Cindy Bessire, Muleshoe High School Principal.
Whalin presented Budget Amendment #4 to finalize the fiscal year ending June 30. This budget amendment moved monies into some line items and function codes that let us finish up the school year strong. Funds were transferred into line items to help with salaries and benefits for the staff, and also for safety under the new Guardian Plan.
Whalin and her staff, Lynda Washington and Debra Jennings, have done an outstanding job managing and implementing the 2017-18 budget. Jennings is in charge of payroll and Washington handles accounts payable and the monumental Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS). Kudos to the finance department and the work they do for Muleshoe Schools.
The board also moved to approve the 2018-19 budget. The budget is very similar to last year’s with a step put in for salaries and benefits. The administration is being conservative and carefully planning as the Texas Legislature meets in January and school safety is a large part of the priorities.
Sam Whalin and the maintenance department have done an amazing job this summer. “Effectiveness and Efficiency” is the theme for our productive maintenance department. Several items that have been completed lately are the new grass and sprinkler system on the south side of the Junior High, improvements to the parking lot and needed plumbing issues by the band hall, renovating and resurfacing the high school track.
Turnbow moved to hire Johnna Blackburn as certified personnel subject to assignment.
The Board of Trustees closed the noon meeting with excitement as the 2018-19 school year looks promising for Muleshoe Schools.

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