FWISD board approves $6.8 million budget amendment for 2012-13

Fort Worth Independent School District representatives voted Tuesday to amend the district’s budget for the 2012-13 school year by adding about $6.8 million.

Adjustments were made to instruction, plant maintenance and operations, data processing services, and facilities acquisition and construction, according to the district’s general fund budget amendments for the current school year.

Even though the district received more than $572 million from local, state, federal and other sources, the district is still estimated to have a deficit over $34 million, said Hank Johnson, deputy superintendent of finance, business and operations.

Part of the ways the district is fixing the deficit and balancing revenues with spending is by cutting staff. Johnson said that despite having to level off staff, the district is trying to get a budget with as few layoffs as possible. He also said the district is still working on reductions in staff to cover the 1 percent, one-time pay increase, which is scheduled to continue throughout the year.

Another way to help balance the budget, Johnson said at the school board’s meeting on Sept. 25, was to “look for deficiencies that we can scale back and put budgeted dollars where they need to be.”

Even though the district is planning to cut staff, it appointed two new assistant principals in Fort Worth ISD at Tuesday’s meeting.

In other activity, the booster clubs at Paschal and Arlington Heights high schools are on their way to raise $712,000 for artificial fields, Johnson said. Arlington Heights is expected to have half of the funds available by December, while Paschal plans to have half of its goal raised by the end of the 2012-13 school year.

Theophlous Sims, District 4 representative, said installing the turf fields would provide students a safer way to play sports.

According to Sims, Arlington Heights was the first school to have weathered tracks and started a trend for all the schools in Fort Worth to have safer fields and areas for sports.

District 8 Representative Joe Ralph Martinez said the fields are an example of how the Fort Worth community is showing support for high school athletics.

“It’s a great effort and a great opportunity,” Martinez said. “This is not only great for our kids but great for our community.” 

The next Board of Education meeting is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 9 at the Fort Worth ISD Board Room, 2903 Shotts St.