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MCISD mulls possibilities with TRE funds

MCISDlogoMISSION — Administrators with the Mission Consolidated Independent School District (MCISD) recently looked at possible options in budget adjustments should voters approve the tax ratification election, or TRE, in September.

At a recent board meeting, Assistant Superintendent for Finance & Operations Lucio Mendoza presented board trustees with preliminary estimates and a proposed budget.

With the voter approval of an increased maintenance and operations tax from $1.04 to $1.17 per $100 valuation, MCISD could expect total revenues to be $130,592,694 and expenditures to be $128,132,760.

The proposition will go before voters on Sept. 17. If approved, the district could net over $7 million.

If the TRE isn’t passed, the district will have expenditures and revenues totaling $122,673,269.

Since the district has the potential to earn additional revenue, Mendoza presented the board with options that help student improvement and other district services.

To improve on the district’s results in the Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, Mendoza suggested adding additional support for the bilingual and special education programs, where the district is functioning poorly. The cost for those additions would be $1 million total.

To help boost morale with teachers, the district could implement an AYP incentive program. Should the district meet AYP measurements, employees district-wide could get a one-time payment equal to three-percent of their salary after the academic year has ended.

Mendoza also suggested the district spend $500,000 on early college support.

Along with student and district academic success, Mendoza said the district could use the TRE money to address aging concerns to the bus fleet.

MCISD has 27 buses that are from six to 10 years old; at least 26 buses are over 10 years old. Most recently, the district refurbished some of its buses since budget constraints didn’t allow for any new purchases of buses. It’s been seven years since the district purchased a new bus.

This year, Mendoza said he wouldn’t recommend any cuts for the transportation department to maintain buses and possibly purchase new buses with TRE money.

In the transportation department, Mendoza also recommended creating a new transportation hub for buses to be stationed at R. Cantu Jr. High School.

“It’s a very central location, they will save time, they will save gas,” said Superintendent Dr. Cornelio Gonzalez.

The hub would allow the district buses in that area to save on fuel costs. To build the station, it would cost approximately $800,000.

The total cost of the recommendations made by Mendoza total nearly $6 million.

“It’s a contingency plan,” board President James Olivarez said. “Hopefully we will pass that tax swap, as they call it, on Sept. 17.”

Also, at their recent board meeting, MCISD named the new principal for Veterans Memorial High School. Leticia Peña from the McAllen school district was approved. Vice President Moises Iglesias and members Patricia Ocaña-Olivarez and Dr. Sonia Treviño voted against the motion.

Alonzo Reyes, a former assistant principal at R. Cantu Jr. High School, was selected to be principal at Cantu Elementary School. Iglesias and Treviño voted against the selection.

Trustees unanimously selected Azucena I. Garza, a former testing strategist, as Cantu elementary’s assistant principal.

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