The Midlothian ISD School Board received a financial outlook update and approved a one-time stipend for all employees at its meeting Monday, Nov. 12 at L.A. Mills Administration Building.

Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Katie Bowman reviewed several scenarios for the future fund balance outlook. Bowman applied what she called “layers” of projected expenditures and revenue or assumed growth.

Bowman’s final scenario factored in potential growth, additional expenditures and revenue with an opportunity to save costs for the future.

“These are all just estimates and not a recommendation, just a logistical look at the numbers,” Superintendent Dr. Jerome Stewart prefaced.

Bowman showed the possibility of recouping lost tax revenue from the Texas Education Agency that she suggested could be used to pay off the district’s Johnson Controls capital lease. This Bowman said would save MISD $100,000 in interest and “free up” $267,705 each budget year that could be allocated to something other than the capital lease.

With a 1 percent enrollment growth rate and the additional expenditures projected, Bowman’s last “layer” showed the fund balance dropping below the recommended 20 percent level in 2016-2017.

“However, if we had 2.5 percent growth for just one year, we would balance the budget and maintain the current fund balance at about $25 million,” she said, referencing Templeton Demographic’s third quarter growth projections.

After the financial outlook report, the school board reviewed a report from staff on the district’s pay scale compared to neighboring and similar school districts. The school board then unanimously approved a one-time stipend of 2 percent of their yearly pay for all employees.

Board Secretary Phil Seay asked Bowman if the just full time employees would receive the stipend or if part time employees would also. She replied that all employees eligible for benefits would receive the stipend.

Employees will be required to work an extra day to make the stipend a legal pay incentive, because it is an amended expense in the budget.

Burge also took a moment after the unanimous vote to praise trustees Hemphill and Cindy Williams for proposing the extra work day and stipend for all employees.

The school board also received a third quarter demographic projection from Bob Templeton with Templeton Demographics. Templeton reviewed the current demographics of the district and explained the district’s flat growth.

“Currently, your largest class is ninth grade with eighth grade second,” Templeton said. “You’re growing in second through fourth grade. However, for the last two years your cohorts (students in the same graduating class) have been disappearing before making it to the high school, which has made your growth flat.”

Burge asked if Templeton knew whether these students were dropping out or moving to another district. Stewart replied that they had studied the numbers before and found that previously students were leaving the district and moving to other public schools.

Templeton then projected a 1 percent growth of 61 students for fall 2013 with a rising growth percentage from 2-3 percent in future. Ultimately, the charts showed an additional 8,000 students by fall 2016.

In other business, the school board:

• received a Working on the Work (WOW) Presentation from LaRue Miller second-grade students on nocturnal and diurnal animals

• approved the purchase of six 77 passenger busses and one 44 passenger bus to restore their fleet

• received an update on the High School No. 2 and Frank Seale Middle School Addition bond projects

• received a report on energy savings from Energy Specialist Craig Carpenter and Cenergistic (formerly Energy Education)

• recognized the district for earning the Texas Comptroller’s Gold Leadership Circle for transparent, public-friendly and accurate financial records

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