By Stafford MSD Communications
The Stafford Municipal School District Board of Trustees and Stafford City Council made history on Aug. 23 by unanimously approving the 2017-18 Stafford MSD budget.
It’s the fourth consecutive year that the SMSD budget was passed by a unanimous vote. That has never happened in the 36-year-history of the school district.
The $30 million budget, which went into effect Sept. 1, had a strong emphasis on academic achievement. In addition to a balanced budget, the district also has increased its reserves in its fund balance.
SMSD Board President Auturo Jackson and Stafford Mayor Leonard Scarcella attributed the unanimous approval to the attention to detail, frank discussions and close working relationship between the city and the school district.
SMSD Superintendent Dr. Robert Bostic said he was proud of the joint efforts of the city council and school board.
“We are delighted, yet not surprised, that all of our elected officials made a conscious decision to ensure that Stafford MSD students have a bright future focused on academic success,” Bostic said. “Stafford MSD won’t play second fiddle to any other district or educational institution.”
“Our goal is to be the premier school district in the State of Texas,” Jackson said. “District Superintendent Dr. Robert Bostic, administrators, teachers, trustees, and city council should all be commended for their hard work leading up to last night’s vote. I do not believe it is a coincidence; since the school board, city council, and the Stafford community have made a concerted, committed effort to work cooperatively and collaboratively, our students’ academic achievements have continued to improve.”
Stafford MSD, as the only municipal school district in Texas, requires a joint vote of the school board and city council to pass a budget. To pass it, 11 of the 14 members of the combined body must vote yes.
The vote was 13-0 with one trustee absent due to bereavement.
Councilmember Cecil Willis, who helped start SMSD in the 1980s, thanked Bostic for his leadership and emphatically stated, “the pride in SMSD appears to be back.”
Jackson said the budget included a pay raise for all district employees, emphasis on campus safety and security and a commitment to academic excellence. Another priority was continuing the district’s mission of ensuring that every student graduates ready for college or career, without remediation.
The board and council unanimously approved to maintain a tax rate of $1.04005 for the support and maintenance of schools for tax year 2017 and related actions. The joint body also unanimously approved to maintain a tax rate of $0.19 for the purpose of paying the interest and providing a sinking fund for the payment of bonded indebtedness of SMSD for the tax year 2017 and related actions.
“We have great plans for SMSD that are being presented to the Stafford community,” Jackson said.