Tuesday evening the Eastland ISD school board moved from their usual meeting room in the administration building to the high school cafeteria in order to make room for the large number of citizens who attended the special called meeting.
The slogan “Whatever It Takes, Our Kids Are Worth It!” was displayed on all the video screens around the room. The meeting had been called to discuss two topics. One was to allow Steve Thomas from the Eastland County Appraisal office to explain the appraisal process. Many local property owners have received their new proposed appraisals and have been shocked at the increase in property values. The other order of business was to discuss the upcoming tax ratification election. The evening was spent offering more information and answering questions about school finance so that tax payers can be more educated on the situation. Eastland ISD will either have to start cutting more jobs and programs or raise taxes in order to make up for the expected shortfall created by less funding from the State. Last year the district cut $430,000 from the budget. This year they are looking at not filling retiring positions, not giving contracts to those not under contract, and have already eliminated and reduced some programs. These actions still won’t cover the expected gap so the question now is whether more cuts, eliminations and reductions are in store for EISD or whether the tax payers are willing to allow an increase in taxes.
A proposed tax increase of .13 per 100 valuation will require the support of tax payers in the form of an election. Public hearings will be held in Olden, Carbon and in Eastland before the election. An election on the tax rate increase will be held on June 18, 2011 between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. at the Eastland County Courthouse. Early voting will run from June 6, through June 14, 2011 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at the Eastland County Courthouse.
Below are the “Financial Information Session” documents used as a visual during the meeting, and the audio of the meeting held on March 24, 2011.
Podcast of the May 24, 2011 Eastland School Board meeting: