The coming months will be very interesting as the Legislature convenes their session in Austin. Schools and entities that support schools are very anxious about how the budget deficit will impact how we will operate in the 2011-2012 school year. According to a publication released by the Equity Center, "State Comptroller Susan Combs released her revenue estimate of available funds for the state’s 2012-13 biennium budget. According to Combs, the state has a net available revenue of $72.2 billion (including a $4.3 beginning negative balance for the current biennium) with a rainy day fund of $9.4 billion. The state faces a budget shortfall of approximately $26.8 billion for the 2012-13 biennium (as reported by Harvey Kronberg). Such a shortfall obviously paints a grim picture and will present extreme challenges for the legislature. Consensus around the Capitol indicates that cuts to public education remain likely, although the extent of such cuts remains unclear."
SSISD will begin preparing for the impact of facing less revenue that would normally be earned and paid by the State of Texas. A 10 percent reduction in state revenue would mean approximately $430,000 to SSISD, and we will begin planning for this so we will be ready if this occurs. Reducing our already slim budget will be difficult as this type of reduction can only be made by cutting programs. An additionally concern is the possible reduction in services that we receive from our Education Service Center (ESC) that is located in San Angelo. The ESC provides our District and many small and medium size districts what large districts provide on their own. The services I am talking about include state mandated software that accounts for our students, finance accounting, and gradebook, professional development to help us keep up-to-date on the state laws and rules, state assessment information and training, CSCOPE curriculum, safety and security programs, and school board training to name a few items; the services they provide are absolutely vital to keeping our District on top of the requirements and the special programs that we want to provide our students, but may not be mandated. The value of the services provided by the ESC is usually not clearly understood by our legislators so it is vital that we help provide that understanding. If you have the opportunity to speak with legislators and would like more information regarding the issues facing schools, please give me a call or stop by and visit. In our rural community, many of our programs not just school funding may be impacted by legislative budget cuts at the state and federal level. It is important that the folks who represent us know our concerns, so please take the opportunity to become active.
Please visit www.san-saba.net to view events and find information you need to know about SSISD. As well, don’t forget to sign up for the "alerts" available from the website, and don’t miss the opportunity to sign up for the Parent Portal giving parents access to grades and attendance. Parents, let us know how we can help you the first day of school all the way until the last day of school!! 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 firstname.lastname@example.org . We are San Saba! We are together!