Crosby ISD budget: Crosby to spend more per student

By Lewis Spearman

CROSBY – The new budget for the 2012 -2013 school year passed August 13 and the Superintendent is glad the emphasis is more on instructing students.

The school board also decided to continue with CRE8 Architects from eleven bidders to handle projects for the district. The word is that this firm has been very responsive to the needs of the district.

This is our 4th year of a $0.17 per $100 valuation tax increase in Crosby. There is a 1% salary increase for employees this year and yet a number of teachers have left for retirement and some for higher wages. About 310 teachers work in Crosby ISD, depending on how you define teachers.

Eighty three new educators for Crosby ISD will be welcomed at Thursday’s New Educator’s Luncheon by the Crosby-Huffman Chamber of Commerce. Thirteen and a half new teacher units will be added this year.

In addition to the new high school principal, a new Mr. Walter Barringer will principal at Drew Elementary School. Ms. Warpole is New Assistant Principal at Barrett Primary, she has been promoted from teacher. Karla McGee is the new Director of Special Education.

The local school tax makes up 40.57% of the budget to total $15,204,100. The State & Federal governments pay $22,267,670 for a total budget to maintain and operate schools of $37,471,770. The district pays people, all of them, to work for the school $28,864,235, 77.03% of the budget and 22.09% to operate or $8,276,165. Crosby ISD is hiring 13.5 new teachers to provide class size reduction and enhance instruction.

The Crosby ISD fund balance is $331,370 or 0.88% of the budget.

Overall comparing to other nearby districts this is a very efficient budget per student.

Superintendent Kieth Moore echoed this observation by saying “The numbers on operations of district administration for example are at a low for several years which leaves more for student instruction.”

The aggregate budget for the year 2010-2011 was $22,145,390 or $4,682 per student but in 2011-2012 fell to $21,101,609 or $4,379 per student.

Next year the instructional aggregate budget is $21,976,220 at $4,604 per student. A higher percent is to be spent teaching than new transports, shifting around, supplies, services, and fixing situations.

“We have to work in partnership with our community when we find things that our school needs. We have to be budget conscience to our community. You know the Catch 22 is knowing that we are growing and our buildings are full. We just have to work in partnership with our present buildings and get us some good buildings that our community will support. The challenge for us in the district is that we need to hit the nail on the head for what our needs are but we are not going to go for all the bells and whistles and the Taj Mahal effects that some may want.” said Moore, “There is still a lot of work to be done on our budget. We are looking at everything and we may come out of this and determine that we don’t want to go out for anything at this time. It appears to me that we are in a position that we need to offer to the community an opportunity to make that decision.”

“I feel like we are just at the tipping point.”

Moore continued later, “If you were able to freeze time and say Crosby is going to be just like it is in two years, five years or ten years – you would still have to ask ‘Do we need to expand our facilities?’ because they went out for a bond issue four years ago because the buildings were full then. We are still growing that’s why the buildings are even more full. What we accomplished with the tax increase was we renovated Crosby Elementary School and that took 200 and something kids off of the elementary campuses. Which gave then one or two classrooms per campus. It got them back to appropriate levels.”

“We have to find out if the community believes this community is going to grow. I have not talked to anybody that thinks this community is going to look the same in two to three to five years.”