The Tax Ratification Election that was held on October 6, 2009 failed to be ratified. In a large voter turn out, the ratification of the $1.17 +.09 = $1.26 rate failed 221 against to 134 in favor. What does this mean for San Saba ISD? The School Board of Trustees in cooperation with department heads, administration and me, will determine what will be addressed in the currently adopted budget to make up this budget shortfall. In a situation such as this, individual opinions will vary just as they did regarding the support or lack of support for the tax increase. If the tax rate had been ratified, the District would have been able to save approximately $700,000 in interest on the Armadillo Arena and Central Office project by paying this project off early. As well maximizing $462,072 in additional state dollars. The ISD will now study the adopted budget to determine what will be cut to make up or lower the $466,992 deficit. This decision will be made keeping in mind what is best for the school children of this community and what cuts will impact their educational experience the least.
Across the state I have been told that there are 47 other Tax Ratification Elections taking place this fall. According to the TexasISD.com, 66% of the elections held so far have been ratified. As a school superintendent, I have to ask myself what this means about the level of support we have for our school, our school employees and the school children in our community since our election did not pass. This may not be a popular question to ask, but it is one that I have to ask myself in leading the Board, the administrative team and department heads in our budget cutting plan and in planning for the future. It is an important question to ask in order to implement change or to improve our standing and reputation in the community.
What happens when a community loses its school and the reverse is true too, what happens if the school loses its community support? How much does the school contribute to the community? School purchasing this month in the San Saba community totaled $48,998 and in payroll that comes back to this community, the District will pay $387,647 in gross wages in the month of October. School is not a for profit industry and yes, it costs a great deal to operate a school district, but we are careful in our spending, and high in our expectations of student success. I hope you will continue to ask me questions about the operations of the school district which includes finance, facilities, curriculum, programs and all other aspects of the school district. I want to provide you with the information that you need to feel good about supporting your local school district. I know that the state of the economy does not help us in making this argument for an increased tax rate any easier, but supporting students and becoming a partner with your school district does help support this argument.
I truly appreciate the candid conversations that I had with the people who took the time to ask questions. As well, I appreciate the folks who took the time to vote, both in early voting and on election day.
Please visit www.san-saba.net to view events and find information you need to know about SSISD. If you have any question about this article or any other question about school happenings please contact me at 325/372-3144 or email me at email@example.com . We are San Saba! We are together!