La Feria News

TEA Awards Perfect Score to La Feria School District Business Manager

Trustees Hear Presentation for Nov. 5 TRE Election

La Feria ISD School Board Trustees recognized Business Manager Ramon Mendoza at the Sept. 9 school board meeting for his accomplishment of receiving a “perfect score” on the 2013 FIRST Rating from the Texas Education Agency.

The purpose of the financial accountability rating system is to ensure that school districts and open-enrollment charter schools are held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and achieve improved performance in the management of their financial resources. The system is designed to encourage Texas public schools to manage their financial resources better in order to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes. The system will also disclose the quality of local management and decision-making processes that impact the allocation of financial resources in Texas public schools.

School Finance and Accountability experts from Moak, Casey and Associates made a powerpoint presentation to the board to increase understanding and the need for voter approval of the TRE Election on November 5.

It was explained that back in 2012 the state cut approximately $3.1 million from the 2012-13 biennium, along with cuts to special programs. In return, La Feria had to cut auxiliary staff, teaching staff, library allocations, supply allocations, athletic expenditures, increased class size, reduced elementary special area teachers (music, art & PE), reduced transportation expenditures, textbook purchases, maintenance repairs, and froze salaries for 2011-12 and 2012-13.

A successful TRE Election will be used for employee pay raises to impact retention and recruitment, upgrade La Feria facilities with emphasis on student safety items and purchase instructional technology for the classroom.

“Swapping the maintenance and operation tax rate and the I&S tax rate will gain a total of $1.47 million,” according to the speakers. LFISD Trustees have pledged to keep the tax rate the same if voters approve the TRE Election.

In other news at the meeting, trustees learned of some new programs offered for students at the La Feria Academy. One is a Pharmacy Technician program and the second is an Electrical Apprenticeship. Funding for these program is through a TIPPS grant.

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