Great turnout to meet SMSD Superintendent lone finalist
By Karen Daniels
Prior to last week’s Stafford SMSD/City Council Joint Budget meeting, a meet and greet was held for lone finalist superintendent, Dr. Robert Bostic. The Margaret Havens Library was filled with teachers, staff, city employees, and community members standing in line to shake his hand. Dr. Bostic stated that his first task will be to conduct meetings with the Mayor, City Council, and School Board members to get their thoughts; individually as well as collectively. His second task will be to hire a new CFO. The Board of Trustees will vote for his final approval on May 7.
Later that evening, at the joint budget meeting, much discussion was given to raising teachers’ salaries in an effort to stay competitive with area districts. Several formulas are being considered and potential payroll numbers were presented for a 1% through 4% increase. The difficulty for SMSD, and most districts, is not having hard numbers yet. The county appraisal districts (Harris and Fort Bend) preliminaries are based on last year’s analysis; however, many homeowners will challenge their appraisal, altering this amount. SMSD received 81% of last year’s initial tax figures. Another uncertain number concerns health insurance. An increase is expected due to rising costs, but these numbers won’t be final until June or July, so likely, teachers’ salaries will not be set until late summer.
Also discussed was the $2.2M surplus from the 2011 bond project. Items on the list are: New turf – $1.7M; Carpet replace and gym repair (Middle & Inter) – $435K; Generator $1.5M; 17 Acres walking trail – $1M; etc. Interim Superintendent Dr. Hooper proposed that new band uniforms be approved that night for an amount not to exceed $125K. It has been 10 years since the District has purchased these uniforms. The motion passed unanimously.
At the end of the two hour meeting, Mayor Scarcella commended the Board on their selection of Dr. Bostic, saying he was “most impressed” with the “approaches he (Dr. Bostic) sees for the District.” Dr. Bostic was thankful “for the welcoming spirit that each and everyone has shown” and that he is “so excited about becoming a member of this community.”
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