Waxahachie ISD made ‘error’ in deficit report
By 04/03/2003 00:00:00
The Ellis County Press
WAXAHACHIE - At first, officials with the Waxahachie Independent School District forecasted a $2.45 million budget deficit after a February bond election defeat.
Now, because of an administration error, the deficit has decreased to $1.5 million.
The state government provides school districts a formula, or template, to calculate the amount of state funding a district will receive. The template, according to Superintendent Dr. Bobby Parker, consisted of numerous chan-ges, apparently overlooked.
An input error by district officials, Parker continued, was also discovered and gave a more positive light on the current budget dilemma.
Both Parker and Chief Financial Officer Dan Davis have come under heavy scrutiny from the public, as well as school board members, for their previous budget projections.
After voters rejected a $48 million budget deficit in February, WISD officials started hitting taxpayers with news of a budget deficit, attributed mainly to the state's socialist Robin Hood plan, a system in which 'rich' school districts send taxpayer money to the state to be redistributed to 'poor' ones. Currently, the WISD and the Midlothian ISD are the only Ellis County school districts having to prepare for Chapter 41 status, the section of state law requiring districts to contribute to Robin Hood.
Meanwhile, Parker and other Ellis County school district officials have urged citizens to get involved with contacting members of the state legislature; both the House and Senate have bills to abolish Robin Hood.
Several organizations and media outlets have called for a state income tax, but conservatives throughout the state have railed against the idea.
Parker said the WISD will face increased expenditures and lower revenues for next year's budget cycle, set to start in October.
'The current funding system will not provide necessary funds for school districts in the next few years,' Parker said. 'There are only so many cuts that can be made before student education is negatively impacted.'