Although the entire budget for the 2017-18 year was not yet officially approved, the Huffman ISD Board of Trustees approved a two-percent general pay raise for its employees at its June 19 board meeting. Chief Financial Officer Tim Brittain explained the situation.
“We decided not to bring the budget tonight (for approval) to buy us a little more time to analyze things since this meeting was so early in the month,” he said.
Brittain explained that the delay in approving the overall budget would allow more time to finalize the end of this school year and provide a better picture of things still outstanding. He highlighted the impact of whether and when to purchase three new buses and the determination of staffing levels for the next school year was not yet finalized. However, he explained that the two-percent raise was accounted for and could be approved. He also explained that the complete budget for the coming year was scheduled for approval at a called board meeting following the last budget workshop on June 29. “We will bring in a balanced budget and I feel comfortable with a two-percent raise,” he said.
The board approved a two-percent midpoint increase for all full-time employees on the midpoint scale and a two-percent increase for teachers, nurses and librarians.
During public comments, two residents voiced their displeasure about the student zoning process that led to the April 24 school board decision that defined which of the two elementary schools Huffman students will attend when the new elementary school opens in the fall of 2018.
The first resident said that she was disappointed in the way the children in Huffman were going to be divided between two schools, rather than all students in the same grades going to the same school for the first few elementary grades and then going to the other school for the second half of their elementary grades. She criticized the lack of clear public communication before the board made its decision. She said, “I don’t believe that people fully understand all the effects and ramification the zoning of our tiny town will be.”
The resident said she had walked all over the community in the hot sun and had 600 signatures and endorsements from over 20 local businesses agreeing with her concerns. She asked the board and everyone in the room to work to make public communication better and again emphasized her concern about the way the community was divided into two zoning areas that would split up the children in the community.
The second resident concurred with the first and said no more. A Tribune front page story on May 3 describes how the decision was made. It is available online at ourtribune.com/headlines.
At the beginning of the meeting, Huffman ISD Superintendent Benny Soileau opened with a brief recognition ceremony.
“Good evening; we don’t have quite the recognitions we often do being that it is a summer month, but we have some in golf and we want to recognize our Huffman Education Foundation and those who work in the foundation,” he said.
Golf Coach Joey Buchta recognized the team of Dillon Todd, Austin Douglas, Kaleb Rapsilver, Michael Boggs and Chance Shelby. He pointed out that as a team they were District 23-4A Champions and took third place in Region III. In addition, Todd was named to the Texas High School Coaches Association All-State Academic Team and Douglas was named Southeast Coaches Association 2016-17 Golfer of the Year.
Soileau, on behalf of the board of trustees, recognized the volunteers of the Huffman Education Foundation with certificates of appreciation. He pointed out that the foundation was only three years old and has raised over $130,000.
The next regularly scheduled board of trustees meeting will be on Monday, July 31, at 7 p.m. in the board room of the Huffman ISD Administration Building, 24302 FM 2100.
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