Alvarado ISD board members adopted a $57.8 million budget for the 2007-08 school year, which also includes the $25.5 million cost for the new intermediate school, at Monday’s special-called meeting in the AISD Board Room.

“Seventy-two percent of AISD’s budget goes toward salaries,” assistant superintendent for finance Larry McGough said. “Another major portion is allocated toward instruction.”

McGough provided what he called an “opening statement” to board members, which included his interpretation of the new budget analysis.

He also expressed his concern with the district’s lower-than-anticipated enrollment.

“The new budget is based on an average daily attendance of 3,040 for the entire year,” he said. “So far, our attendance has been 22 students less than this same time frame last school year.”

McGough also reminded board members that enrollment figures have always been lower on the first day of school and that he would have a more stable number within several weeks.

In other action, the board approved the AISD tax rate at $1.41, which includes a frozen rate of $1.04 for maintenance and operations and 37 cents in interest and sinking for debt services.

AISD superintendent Dr. Chester Juroska said the district had anticipated a 50-cent increase in debt services following last year’s successful bond election for a new intermediate facility, but McGough was able to lower that amount to 37 cents.

“This is a tremendous savings to our taxpayers,” Juroska said, “and I am very pleased we were able to lower these rates from our initial estimation.”

Board members also set public hearing dates for the proposed tax rate for Hill College for 6 p.m. Sept. 11 and 6 p.m. Sept. 17, with a public hearing and adoption of the proposed tax rate at 6 p.m. Sept. 26.

The next regular scheduled school board meeting will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 10.