John Wink (copy)

Carthage ISD has set a public hearing for its proposed 2019-20 budget in August.

Carthage ISD’s proposed 2019-20 budget will drop the tax rate by seven cents and will include pay raises for staff and teachers throughout the district.

District officials offered a preliminary look at the overall numbers at a school board meeting Monday. They also set a public hearing to consider the budget and proposed tax rate for Aug. 19 at 6:15 p.m.

Business Manager Kathy Worley said the proposed budget is expected to generate about $28.5 million in revenue — a number based on an increase in state funding and a state-mandated compression of the tax rate.

“We built the budget, and the increase that we’ve had in the new legislature, we’ve actually set it all into raises for the teachers and all personnel,” Worly said. “We have also added back a few of our key position that we had to release prior whenever we were trying to get to a balanced budget.”

The district is decreasing its tax rate by seven cents to a total of $1.21 per $100 valuation — a 6.73 percent decrease. The proposed tax rate is 97 cents per $100 valuation on the maintenance and operations side of the budget, which governs things like salaries, and 24 cents on the debt side, which governs bond monies.

Worley said teachers with six or more years’ experience would receive $4,000 raises. Teachers with less experience would see a $3,500 raise.

Meanwhile, paraprofessionals and bus drivers would see raises between $2,000 and $3,000 and auxiliary professionals would see their hourly rate increase by $1.50 — about $3,100 a year.

“Across the district, it’s an average of about seven percent or a little bit more than seven percent that everyone will see,” Worley said.

Superintendent John Wink said Monday that the state’s House Bill 3 mandated they spend 30 percent of their increased state funding on teacher salaries and that Carthage ISD had exceeded that expectation.

In addition to raises and added personnel, Wink also said the district’s proposed budget includes about $1 million for unexpected expenses, such as valuation and jurisdictional issues in property taxes.

Worley noted Carthage ISD would be making a smaller payment in the state’s recapture program — otherwise known as “Robin Hood.” But she was quick to note that’s only because the state was making the district reduce its tax rate.

“That means we don’t collect as much, so we don’t send as much,” she said. “It’s not new money to the district. By no means does that mean we have a savings or extra money. It’s just the fact that we’re not collecting it to send.”

Reporter

Carthage native Meredith Shamburger has worked for the Panola Watchman since 2018. Before that, she worked at sister papers in Longview and Marshall; the Dallas Morning News; and The Daily Voice, a hyperlocal news company in Westchester County, New York.