(Orange, Texas)

August 24, 2013

Vidor ISD approves budget and tax rate, OISD to hold public hearing

Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader

ORANGEFIELD — The Orangefield Independent School District will hold a public hearing this Tuesday about the coming school year budget and tax rate.

The Orangefield Independent School District is proposing a tax rate of $1.17325 per $100 valuation, which is no change from the current rate. The maintenance and operation rate is $1.04 per $100 valuation, and the interest and sinking rate is $0.13325 per $100 valuation for a total rate of $1.17325.

A budget of $12.6 million will be proposed to the Board of Trustees on Tuesday as well, according to Dr. Stephen Patterson, OISD superintendent.

“Nothing is set in stone yet, but we are hoping to be able to do some good things with the budget, pending board approval,” Patterson said. “We have some technology upgrades included in this budget, as well as the purchase of a new school bus, and maintaining the general infrastructure.”

Another component of the proposed budget is a possible 6 percent pay increase for employees.

“Employee wages were frozen two years ago, so it has been something we have talked about,” Patterson continued. “We feel it is important to do as much as we can this time for the employees since has been so long, so we have proposed a 6 percent wage increase.”

The public hearing will be held at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 27, in the library of Orangefield High School, 10058 FM 105 in Orangefield.

The Vidor Independent School District’s Board of Trustees approved the district’s proposed tax rate and budget for the coming school year earlier this week.

The Board of Trustees approved the new tax rate of $1.22366 per $100 valuation, which is a slight increase compared to the previous tax rate of $1.22236. The maintenance and operations tax rate of $1.125 remains unchanged from the previous year, while the interest and sinking fund actually increased from $0.09736 to $0.09866.

Vidor ISD’s Board of Trustees also approved the 2013-2014 school budget.

The district will operate with a revenue of $38,854,705 while expenditures are projected at $38,378,815.

“This budget is giving a raise to all Vidor Independent School District employees,” said David Croak, assistant superintendent. “Teachers will receive an increase of $1,400, except for those who are at their maximum salary. But what we did for those teachers is increase our maximum salary range by 1.5 percent so they can still get an increase.”

Croak said all other district employees are receiving pay increases also depending on their pay grade.

“Depending on what pay grade each employee is in, they will receive a pay increase between 37-cents and 74-cents per hour,” Croak added.

Croak said the district has included the purchase of two new school buses in the this year’s budget as well, plus technology upgrades and computer purchases to be utilized across the district. Several maintenance projects are on tap as well.

“The district is getting better,” Croak said. “It’s in better shape than it was and we’re continuing to improve, and that’s what we want to do every year.”