Needville ISD taxpayers will see a reduction in the coming year if trustees approve the proposed tax rate and budget at a public hearing set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, in the school board meeting room.

Trustees heard a presentation on the second draft of the 2020 budget and the tax rate for 2019- 2020 school year at the Aug. 21 meeting. Assistant Superintendent of Finance Dovie Peschel said the proposed general operating budget is balanced, with revenues and expenditures totaling slightly more than $33 million.

The proposed debt service budget is also balanced, with revenues and expenditures totaling about $4.5 million.

“The passage of House Bill 3 was both positive and negative for Needville ISD,” Peschel said. “The bill provided tax rate relief for residents and additional funding in some areas of staff compensation, but substantially decreased state aid for facilities and eliminated the High School Allotment and the Gifted and Talented Allotment completely.”

She recommended the Needville ISD tax rate be decreased from $1.539523 per $100 taxable value to $1.466261 per $100 taxable value for 2020.

“So the taxpayers will see a reduction,” she said.

Trustees also heard good news from Assistant Superintendent Beth Briscoe, who reviewed the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) accountability report, giving Needville ISD an A, or exemplary, rating for the second year in a row.

The TEA debuted its new A through F rating system last school year, and Briscoe said teamwork across the district is what makes Needville ISD a standout. She said 70 percent of the score is derived from student achievement and school progress, while the remaining 30 percent is “closing the gap,” which reflects how well various student groups perform.

“The key is, we must grow,” Briscoe said in explaining the how rankings are determined. “It takes every staff member to reach our goal and have success in the future. They’ve been doing a great job. I hope next year we can boast and say we grew in every area.”

Superintendent Curtis Rhodes agreed. “We’re doing really well,” he said. “We’ve got great kids and we’re doing a great job.”

Prior to Wednesday’s meeting, trustees toured the new administration building with representatives from Claycomb Associates architects, who said the facility should be ready for occupancy in October.

Board members were impressed with what they saw, which includes a security vestibule which will welcome visitors as they enter the facility. Other first-floor features of the approximately $2.5 million facility include numerous offices, a meeting room and break room.

The school board meeting room is located on the second floor. Director of Information Technology Corey Kelly said his department received a $189,000 federal Erate grant for more wireless access points and other upgrades at all campuses.

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