Jim Sánchez/ Conexión San Ángelo

SAN ANGELO – Assistant Superintendent of Business Support Services, Dr. Jeff Bright, was the point man as he presented the 2017-2018 Adopted Budget for the upcoming school year to the San Angelo Independent School Board of Trustees.

Conexión interviewed Dr. Bright on a tri expenditures-Programs to functions section: preliminary General, Food Service and Debt Service Fund Budgets.

“Our General Fund Budget is the main operating funds and we are going to present a slight surplus budget to the School Board this evening, Monday, August 7,” said Dr. Bright.

Bright stated this will be done with no tax increase to the taxpayers with the $111 million dollars related to the General Fund.

The District is in great shape financially and this is a reflection of a lot of hard work, stated Bright.

The second section was on Food Services which operates under its own funds. “They are actually going to adopt a slight, deficit budget but it’s planned.” “We are only allowed to hold so much money in surplus with federal funds, we are slightly over that so the federal government has asked us to reduce it,” said Dr. Bright.

The third leg was on Debt Services which SAISD pays off on its mortgage every year with a $9.9 million dollar payment due next year.

“We collect taxes to make that payment.” “We’ve told people that the rate will not go up, we may surprise a few people and actually offer to reduce that rate, we will see how the board feels about that,” Bright said.  

Dr. Bright concluded the interview stating that unlike other districts around the state which are struggling financially, SAISD is healthy on its budget and they are working hard to make sure to maintain that status.

“Our District is on a sound, financial foundation for several reasons. First, it’s been a commitment by the Board, fiscally conservative, to live within our means.”

Bright stated the way schools have gotten in trouble is through staffing as schools are driven by payroll.

“85 percent of a school’s budget is in payroll.” “If school districts let that get out of hand, they get in a bind financially and eventually it’s hard to get out of.”

The School Board has been very disciplined in controlling the payroll and staffing and it’s paying off, Bright concluded.

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