By Karen Daniels
Stafford Municipal School District has the distinction of being the only district in the State of Texas to not be part of an independent school district. After breaking away from FBISD and HISD in 1977, the City of Stafford began its partnership with the district and must approve the school’s annual budget. Last week the City Council and School Board of Trustees met to discuss the fiscal progress; one of six meetings they have on an annual basis. The first item on the agenda was the bus stop on Perez and Dulles Street.
Both Boards agreed to work together on the issue, though each were assertive that the problem neither belonged entirely to the City or to the District. Superintendent Lance Hindt described his visit to the residents of Perez Street and verified that 18 students currently ride the bus. He also confirmed the impossibility of maneuvering a bus down the narrow street to pick up the kids. Mayor Leonard Scarcella informed both Boards that, “In thirty-six years, Stafford students have safely been picked up at this spot since the road was a two-way asphalt, and we will continue to do so.” Along with the Mayor, Councilmen Wen Guerra proposed a designated pad with enhanced culverts for the kids to safely gather for pick ups and drop offs.
The Superintendent is recommending a 3% raise across the board for teachers and staff at SMSD, increasing the budget by $471,124. There are no plans to reduce or enlarge staff, nor are there any plans for lay-offs, however it may be necessary to move some positions around. According to SMSD’s CFO, Carla Merka, the District should have a surplus of nearly 32K.
Mayor Scarcella stated that Texas Instruments will be completely out of their facility by the end of December 2012, and he expects that they might try to appeal their tax evaluation. Currently the Mayor is trying to set up a luncheon with Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce to discuss the changes and effects this will bring, but felt strongly that it was just as important for SMSD to recapture students lost due to enrollments in other districts, private schools, or homeschooling to enhance potential revenue.