Peaster ISD board of trustees discussed the 2019-20 budget during a special session on Monday evening, though a lot of budget details are not yet known.

House Bill 3 aims to reform the school finance system by giving school districts $6.5 billion for employee pay raises and funding for districts and $5.1 billion to lower district taxes. Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill on Tuesday.

“With all of the changes that are expected to come out of HB 3 it is really hard to tell what numbers are ultimately going to look like,” Peaster ISD Superintendent Matt Adams said.

Adams is hoping to get more information and clarification in the upcoming weeks, he said.

Board President Mike Bowling said the board did not receive a proposed budget yet. The impact of HB 3 and what programs and funding aspects it changes is still unknown.

“House Bill 3 changes so many things about school finance this year, but no one really knows all the ins and outs of it,” Bowling said.

Bowling took a positive approach to HB 3 and said it is a good thing to happen, especially since the bill is supposed to lower people’s property taxes. 

“I think it will provide more benefit to the public in general just due to the fact that they’re lowering the tax rate,” Bowling said.

The board is scheduled to adopt the budget and tax rate during the August board meeting, Adams said.

Trustees also approved four teaching contracts to replace teachers who had resigned or retired, Bowling said.

The board also approved hiring an assistant principal at Peaster Junior High since sixth graders will be moving there and a special programs administrator at Peaster Elementary to assist the principals, Bowling said.

“We freed up six classrooms by moving sixth graders off the elementary campus, but with the growth and influx of new students, there’s only going to be two empty classrooms this next school year, and that’s with still utilizing our portables,” Bowling said.

The board also held their regular meeting on Monday where they approved a sports broadcasting agreement and property/auto/liability coverage proposal from PCAT.

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