At its regular meeting on June 29, Alpine ISD Board of Trustees held a public hearing to discuss the proposed 2021-2022 budget and tax rate.
New CFO Clay Braden presided over his first official board meeting, and presented the district’s budget that will determine the tax rate to be adopted. Braden pointed out that the highest tax rate the district can adopt before requiring voter approval is $1.2917 per $100 valuation. An election would trigger automatically if the district adopts a higher rate.
Braden said the proposed rate for maintenance and operations, or maintenance tax, was $1.0517 per $100 valuation. The school debt service tax approved by voters was 21 cents per $100, and Braden indicated that compared to last year, there were lower amounts.
Next, Braden discussed appraised values, saying the total appraised value and total taxable value increased, and the school district’s unpaid bond indebtedness was around $19.65 million.
Said Braden, “The market values of the Brewster County appraisal district were released to us, and we have seen increased values, as we would assume, in this market.”
He provided a comparison of the proposed budget compared with last year’s, and maintenance and operations, debt service, and total expenditures showed an approximate 1% decrease across the board.
Superintendent Becky McCutchen asked Braden if the tax rate would be lowered by three cents, from $1.29470 to $1.26170, and Braden confirmed the rate.
In other news, McCutchen presented her superintendent report, and discussed the STAAR assessment scores for 2020-2021.
McCutchen cited concerns about attendance for third to sixth graders who had lowered attendance rates, and classes were smaller as a result.
“We don’t know if parents kept them home, but we know some of them moved, and we are hoping that we will have them back,” said McCutchen.
With enrollment increasing at the elementary school, she said, “We are anxiously and a little nervously waiting on how many students show up because if it’s historically like it could be, we may need some more teachers.”
The next regularly scheduled Board of Trustees meeting is set for Wednesday, July 21 at 5:30 p.m. in the Alpine ISD Administration Building Board Room.