The Red Oak Independent School District lowered its tax rate from $1.54 to $1.43835 per $100 of certified property value. The 10-cent decrease was approved by the school board during an Aug. 26 meeting.

In a recent press release, officials said the new rate was “due to the reduction in the maintenance and operations fund from $1.17 to $1.06835.”

“We value our taxpayers and are fiscally responsible with the funds we are given,” said Chief Financial Officer Bill Johnston in the release. “Red Oak ISD will continue to watch every penny and seek cost savings to further increase staff pay and provide savings to our taxpayers.”

The interest and sinking rate, however, remain at $.37.

“The maintenance and operations budget funds daily costs and recurring or consumable expenditures, such as teacher and staff salaries, supplies, food, gas and utilities,” the release explained. “The I&S fund is used to repay debt for longer-term capital improvements approved by voters through bond elections.”

To compare school district property tax rates in all of Ellis County, visit txcip.org.

As previously reported in the Daily Light, Red Oak ISD’s 2019-2020 budget approved in July made way for a $3,000 raise for all teachers.

Under the newly approved salary scale, the starting salary for teachers is $48,000, up from $45,000 in 2018-2019. Current teachers on the salary schedule have also received a $3,000 raise.

A two-percent raise was approved for exempt employees, including administrative staff. For non-exempt workers, including paraprofessional and auxiliary staff, the raise stands at three percent of their paygrade midpoint.

The increase in compensation has amounted to approximately $3 million.

“Red Oak ISD continues to raise salaries to recruit and retain the best educators in the area,” stated Board President John Anderson in July. “We want to compensate our employees for the quality instruction they provide our students. The increased funding from HB3 will benefit our most important asset – our staff.”