Wednesday, October 18, 2017
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Sharyland-LogoEmployees will receive a raise while the Sharyland Independent School District keeps its tax rate steady in its 2017-2018 fiscal year budget. The district has also approved three new academic academies.

 

Next year’s official budget, approved by the Sharyland Board of Trustees Monday, is $113,747,950. Teacher salaries will increase by $1,050 and auxiliary workers will receive 2 percent pay increases. The budget will be funded chiefly by a tax rate of $1.37 per $100 of assessed property valuation.

 

The budget will cover only 10 months as the next fiscal year for the school district will start in July 2018 and end in the following June.  Previously the fiscal year ran from Sept. 1 and ended Aug. 31. The fiscal year change was approved during the school board’s April meeting when trustees approved the fiscal year change that takes effect next year.

 

Then-assistant superintendent for the district’s finance and student services department, Connie Lopez, said in April the new fiscal year would give the district earlier access to some funds.

 

The funding elements for the budget include Average Daily Attendance, property values and property tax rate. The state uses a formula to disburse funds to school districts based on their ADA numbers. Sharyland ISD’s ADA is 9,542 with a zero percent growth from last year.

 

The official budget consists of three different funds – general, food service and debt service. The general fund has $88.8 million. The food service fund is at $6.1 million and the debt service fund has $7 million.

 

“I think it’s an excellent budget, we did provide raises of two percent across the board and we were able to approve year two of our strategic plan to allocate $500,000 toward new technology in the district as well as budget for capital improvement projects on a few of our campuses,” said Jaime Ortega, the district’s finance director.

 

In other business, the board also approved three new advanced academies, two of which are projected to open in the next school year.

 

One of the academies is a dual credit academy where students taking core curriculum courses such as English and Math — required of all undergraduates simultaneously can earn a little over 40 college credit hours.

 

The second academy would be an Advanced Placement Academy where students will be pushed to take on more Advanced Placement, or AP courses.

 

Currently, the district has the Sharyland Advanced Academy where students receive an associate’s degree by the time they graduate high school. The two new academies would continue to help a student’s post-secondary education by targeting their college credit hours.

 

According to Pam Montalvo, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, pre-registration for both academies will begin next January.

 

The third academy is a healthy science institute that will provide students with the educational foundation to be successful in a healthcare profession. The academy will make current 8th graders eligible for the district’s Health Occupational Students of America organization. As  high school sophomores they will be able to apply for the program and if accepted, start in their junior year when the academy opens in 2020.

 

Students undergoing the academy will choose from three different programs: Certified nurse’s assistant, medical billing and coding and the pharmacy technician.

 

“This is a great opportunity to start revamping the way we do health science in the district,” District Superintendent Robert O’Connor said. “Obviously it’s a competitive market when it comes to the fields of health science and we want this institute to lead the way academically.”