Marble Falls school board approves proposed district budget

By Nathan Hendrix
Staff Writer

The Marble Falls Independent School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved a proposed budget for the 2019-2020 school year at the monthly board meeting on Monday, June 17.

Finance director Melissa Lafferty presented the proposed budget but emphasized the potential – and probability – of changes being required when funding is clearer.

We can always come back and amend this when we have a better feel for what the funding is going to do,” she said. “The good news is budgets can be amended, but we feel like we can sustain this budget for this fiscal year.”

The signing of House Bill 3 by Gov. Greg Abbott completely changed the funding mechanisms for school districts.

District administrators do not have an effective tax rate or current year property values with which to base revenue projections on, but school boards still have a July 1 deadline for adopting a budget. Lafferty said it may be a couple of months before the district truly knows what the numbers are.

The formulas have changed so much, it's no longer familiar to us,” she said. “We will have a better feel for this in the fall. By August, we'll have a good ballpark figure.”

With current templates, released earlier this month by Omar Garcia of BOK Financial Securities, the district was comfortable enough to present a proposed budget to the school board.

Although HB3 complicates the revenue projections, it also provides MFISD with significant relief from recapture – the distribution of funds to property-poor school districts.

In the 2018-2019 revised budget, MFISD sent over $7.8 million back to the state via recapture; the new law reduces that number to a projected $4 million. MFISD estimates for recapture for the 2019-2020 school year were reaching $11 million before HB3's passage, and the projected budget figures anticipated a deficit. . . .

Find the rest of the story in the Friday, June 21 issue of The Highlander, the newspaper of record for the Highland Lakes. To offer a news tip or comment, email To subscribe, call 830-693-4367.


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