AHS Ladycats vs. Springtown at Aledo;
Varsity, 6:30 p.m.
JV, 5 p.m.
9th, 5 p.m.
By Derek Moore
It’s official. Weatherford ISD’s extracurricular activity fee has been canceled.
The decision to eliminate the fee-based program came Thursday evening after Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations Tracy Ray assured Board members – as part of her 2011-12 preliminary budget report – that the District will have enough additional revenue to help offset the proposed $100,000 that the extracurricular fee was supposed to have generated.
“One of the main reasons the District will have a better-than-expected revenue for the 2011-12 school year is because of our students, employees, parents, partners, and community members,” Ray said. “They all stepped up to the plate and hit a home run when we needed it the most.”
Ray credits several reasons for the increase in revenue such as the District’s 95.67-percent average attendance rate (the highest rate in the past seven years), increased student enrollment, less spending by staff members, and the tax rate collection came in 1-percent higher than expected.
“This was a real blessing,” Weatherford ISD Superintendent Dr. Deborah Cron said. “However, we will still be operating on a budget that will be less than last year’s amount.”
According to District records, the total tax collections and state funding for 2010-11 was $57,145,894 compared to a projected $53,875,741 for 2011-12 (a $3,270,153 reduction).
Other items proposed to be re-instated in the 2011-12 budget include giving back an additional 5 percent for departmental and campus budgeting, and the elimination of any proposed salary reductions and/or furlough days.
“We had originally told our staff that we were going to trim an additional 5 percent from their departmental and campus budgets,” Dr. Cron said. “However, we are on the heels of a new state assessment – not to mention we cut 10 percent from these departments and campuses last year – so we felt it was critical to give back some of this money.”
Dr. Cron said although the District will be in good shape this year, there are still budgetary issues on the horizon.
“Weatherford ISD stands to lose an additional $1.2 million in 2012-13 because of a reduction in state funding,” she added, “and an additional $1.2 million from an Educate Job Funds grant which was only good for one year.”
Earlier this year, Board members approved a plan that included the elimination of 44 District employees (although all teachers were rehired through retirements or attrition), reduced staff travel by 40 percent, eliminated all in-district travel stipends, eliminated extra-period pay at the secondary level, and closed the Weatherford ISD Operations Office and Travis Student and Family Education Center.