Dallas budget goes up $1.8 M

DALLAS — The Dallas School Board adopted a revised 2017-18 budget, based now on an $8.2 billion State School Fund for the 2017-19 biennium.

The State Senate voted 25-5 to approve the $8.2 billion figure and send it to the House of Representatives, where the bill, SB 5517, went through its first reading Monday.

Dallas had calculated its 2017-18 spending plan on $7.8 billion, the figure the legislature has been considering for schools.

Tami Montague, the district’s director of fiscal services, said if the bill is approved, it would send $1.8 million more to the district.

Montague said the plan is to hold $417,914 received during 2017-18 in contingency for the second year of the biennium.

As proposed in the senate bill, the money is split evenly between the years, which doesn’t account for cost of inflation for year two of the state budget.

Nearly $600,000 belongs to charter schools the district sponsors.

The state pays the money to the district to pass on to the schools.

Almost $48,000 will pay for special education positions, and $72,000 will add back the teaching position cut at Oakdale Heights Elementary School.

That leaves $680,000 leftover that will be held in contingency until all budget decisions are final, including union negotiations.

The budget approved by the board now amounts to more than $35 million in general fund and slightly more than $58 million total.

In other business, the board:

• Approved a three-year contract extension for Superintendent Michelle Johnstone. That keeps her with the district through 2019-20. Johnstone will be paid $130,038 for the 2017-18 and future year adjustments will be by June 30 of each year.

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