ITALY — The Italy ISD board of trustees recently adopted its budget and tax rate for the 2011-2012 fiscal year during a special called meeting.

The adopted budget is $5.3 million and the tax rate is $1.24696.

The tax rate of $1.24696 is $1.17 maintenance/operation and $0.07696 in principal and interest on bond debt. This budget is $1 million less than the 2010/2011 budget.

Before adopting the budget, the trustees held a public hearing to discuss the budget. No visitors were present.

Barry Bassett, superintendent, said he and business manager Tammie Gillespie were forced to cut an additional $250,000 from the proposed budget due to reduced enrollment numbers and reduction in state funding.

The budget was prepared with a projected enrollment of 570 students. Average daily attendance since school started is 530.

Bassett said all departments took a cut, including $150,000 for various maintenance projects.

Larry Eubank, president, said the state has given school districts mandate after mandate with no funding provided. He said about 90 percent of the mandates the state has passed are unfunded.

“They are putting the burden on the districts,” Eubank said.

Eubank said that if the public had not passed the TRE a couple years ago, the district “would be in real trouble.”

Mark Stiles said about 225 school districts in Texas are receiving TRE funds. He said those districts are “at least getting by.”

Bassett said the districts that did not get TRE funding approved by voters are in serious trouble.

Stiles said the state legislature has fundamentally failed in the way they are funding schools. He said the state is derelict in its duty by what it is doing to schoolchildren.

He said he does not want to see forced consolidation by the state but said area schools may need to consider some type of consolidation.

In other business, the board discussed several maintenance projects planned this year. The funds, however, are not available at this time.

A few of the projects include replacing a freezer and cooler at the elementary school, replacing the high school kitchen ceiling and installing rest room partitions on both campuses. Other needed projects include installing a sidewalk for school bus loading and unloading at the high school, replacing a/c thermostats and control system in the dome, adding double check valves for the high school water meters (required by the city) and fascia and eave paint repair at the high school.

Prior to adjournment, the board amended the 2010/2011 budget.