Breckenridge Texan

BISD Board approves new meal prices, takes care of other business

BISD Board approves new meal prices, takes care of other business
July 25
18:09 2023

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

In their last regular meeting before school starts, the Breckenridge Independent School District’s Board of Trustees met last week, approving several resolutions and receiving an update on school funding.

At the beginning of the meeting, BISD Superintendent Bryan Allen updated the school board on the property tax plan recently approved by the Texas Legislature and how it will affect the school district. Allen referenced bills that were approved by the Texas Senate and House of Representatives earlier in the month; the bills were signed by Gov. Greg Abbott on Saturday, July 22.

Allen explained that the legislation will cut property taxes for local homeowners by almost 11 cents per $100 valuation. “And, the homestead exemption will go from $40,000 to $100,000, so that will help out our homeowners for sure,” he said.

The State of Texas’ plan includes the State sending the school districts funds to make up the lost revenue from the tax cuts. “What happens there is, the money that we don’t get from tax collections, the state comes in and kind of makes us whole, so it’s almost a wash,” Allen said. “I don’t know that it’s always $1 for $1, but the state will come in with some additional foundation funds in order to make up for that tax rate compression and the homestead exemption.”

Because the tax cut is $18 billion, it will go before the voters for their approval in November. “So what does that mean for us? That means we’ve got to establish our tax rate and budget and everything in August and then, more than likely, have to go rework some numbers and figures after the November election to incorporate the new tax laws,” Allen explained to the school board members.

Additionally, the November vote means that the school district will likely have to send out two tax notices this fall. Because the tax notices are sent out in October — before the (proposed) new tax rate gets voter approval — updated notices will have to be sent out after the election, if the voters approve the proposed tax rate. That might cause some confusion, Allen said.

To read more about the tax cuts, click here to read the Texas Tribune article “Gov. Greg Abbott signs $18 billion tax cut package for Texas property owners.”

School Meal Prices

The school board approved new, increased school meal prices for students for the upcoming year. The prices are calculated for school districts by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Texas Department of Agriculture, Allen said.

“Normally, it’s a 5- or 10-cent increase. It’s a little bit more this year,” he said. “I think a lot of that is based on our inflation that we’re seeing and food delivery costs and whatnot.”

Breakfast will continue to be free for all elementary students and for those older students who qualify for the free meal program. At the junior high and high school, breakfast will cost $3.25 for those paying regular price and 40 cents on the reduced price meal plan. That’s an increase of 25 cents per meal for the regular priced breakfasts over last school year.

Lunch prices will also increase. Elementary students will pay $3.30 per meal, an increase of 30 cents. Those on the reduced price plan will pay 30 cents, and meals will be free for those who qualify. At the junior high and high school, lunch will cost $3.55 per meal, also an increase of 30 cents. BJHS and BHS students on the reduced price plan will pay 40 cents, and meals will be free for those who qualify.

Adult meal prices will also increase, but the school district will not have those numbers until mid-August, Allen said.

School Bus Routes

The school board also approved a resolution identifying hazardous areas for certain students who ride a school bus home. The resolution was in connection with new rules regarding school bus transportation that the BISD director of maintenance and transportation announced at the June meeting.

Beginning this year, BISD will no longer provide daily transportation for students who live within a two-mile radius of their school, unless those students live across or along U.S. Highway 180 or U.S. Highway 183, which are identified as hazardous areas/routes.

At the June BISD meeting, Mitch Brewer, director of maintenance and transportation, explained to the board that the district would be making two changes to the bus system: the two-mile rule and new deadlines for signing up for bus service. Students can only sign up to ride the bus at the beginning of each semester. The deadline for the fall 2023 semester is a week before school starts, he said.

“We have been getting quite a bit of overcrowding on a couple routes, and, you know, the easy thing would just be to add another route, but we can’t find anybody to drive it,” Brewer said last month.

Last year, BISD’s Route 2 bus route, which is the west in-town route, started out with 70 to 75 kids registered, and about 55 to 60 students actually rode the bus on a daily basis, Brewer said. But, by the end of the school year, there were 100 students registered for the route, with an average of 73 riding daily. That required three students to a seat in the 78-passenger bus, he said.

There were 31 students who lived within a half-mile of the school and rode the bus last year, Brewer said.

“Basically, if you live within two miles of your campus and you don’t have to cross a major highway, so 180 (or) 183, then you can’t sign up for the bus,” he said in June. “If this were last year, that would impact 46 kids, total; 31 of those are on Route 2. … Basically, if you live a half-mile from the school, you probably don’t need to ride the bus.”

The resolution passed last week ensures that the school district will receive funding for the students who live within the two-mile radius but must cross the major highways or walk along those highways to get home.

To register a student to ride a bus, visit the BISD website and click on the “2023-2024 Bus Enrollment Form.”

Other business

After a discussion about making the best financial decisions for the district, the school board voted to pay off a 2014 bond in February, before its original due date, in order to save the district money.

The trustees also voted to increase the amount that the district pays for health insurance coverage by $40 for each employee covered. That amount will cover about half of the increase to the insurance this year, Allen said. The insurance for employee-only will increase about $68 to $85 per month, depending on the plan they choose, he said.

Additionally, the board approved the annual report for the Student Health Advisory Committee and new members for the upcoming year.

Tentatively, the school board plans to meet on July 31 and Aug. 7 for budget workshops and on Aug. 14 for the next regular meeting. There will also be two public hearings for the budget and then a meeting on Aug. 30 to adopt the budget.


Cutline, top photo: BISD Superintendent Bryan Allen talks to the school board during the July 17 meeting. Pictured are board members Graham Reaugh and Carrol Kanady. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)




Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Support The Breckenridge Texan


Title of the document Sign up for our
Click Here
Verified by MonsterInsights