Staffing and Operating the Proposed Bond Projects

Early voting for the Midlothian ISD Bond runs from May 2 – 6 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and May 9 – 10 (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) at the Midlothian Conference Center. Election Day is May 14, 2011, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Midlothian Conference Center or Ovilla City Hall depending on which precinct in which you live.

What is one of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the bond and its answer?

That question goes like this, if Midlothian ISD (MISD) is experiencing the impact of the State Budget Crisis, how can it afford to staff and operate the proposed bond projects if the bond passes?

What is the answer?

First, it’s a great question. It’s a great question because the State Budget Crisis is real and The Crisis does impact MISD.

Now, the answer: It hinges on an understanding of school finance – a difficult subject at best.

In part, MISD is funded on student attendance. The District receives revenue based on the number of students in attendance each school day. The more students the District has, and the more often they attend school, the more revenue the District receives.

It is the first “more” – more students – that is critical to staffing and operating High School # 2, Elementary School #7, and the Frank Seale Middle School addition.

More students, as estimated by the District’s demographer, by the school year 2014-15 (the year by which all three projects can be available) will generate an additional $5.2 million a year in revenue on a school budget reduced by The State Budget Crisis.

Now let’s say the state takes away 25% of that revenue. No budget model is predicting anywhere near that much, but let’s just use that figure to make the point. MISD would still have $3.9 million to work with to staff and operate the proposed bond building projects.

The District believes in its student enrollment projections, but let’s add a “what if” just for the sake of argument. What if the projected enrollment increases are off by ten percent. Subtract that funding loss and the District would have  $3.5 million to staff and operate the proposed projects.

Dr. Edd Bigbee, MISD’s Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations, has stated that it will take $2.3 million to staff and operate all three projects. Let’s add one more financial challenge: Dr. Bigbee’s figure for staffing and operating the bond projects is low by 50%. The total cost rises to $3.4 million.

Even if we imagine a 25% reduction in funds per student, a 10% reduction in the projected increase of students in attendance by the 2014-15 school year, and a 50% increase in the cost to staff and operate the projects, MISD has enough revenue to fully staff and operate all three schools.

Here is the bottom line: Even with The State Budget Crisis and a few “what if’s”, MISD can fully staff and operate all three bond projects.

About drjstewart

Christian, husband, father, educator, writer, and photographer.
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