DANBURY — The Danbury ISD school board adopted the 2019-20 budget and lowered the tax rate by 13 cents, acting Superintendent Sherry Phillips said.

With House Bill 3 restructuring how school funds are allocated, the school board was able to lower the tax rate from $1.17 per $100 of appraised property value to $1.07, Phillips said.

“Any time you can lower the tax rate is a good thing,” Phillips said. “The board was integral in this process, and we’re lucky we’ve been able to do that.”

The board was able make the change while hiring eight new personnel including a full-time assistant band director, one custodian, two food service workers, a dyslexia specialist and three special educators, Phillips said.

“I’m very passionate about the special education side of it, but our band is doing phenomenally and I’m so glad we didn’t have to choose between the positions,” said Danbury ISD secretary Tara Williams Bulanek.

The board previously discussed whether or not an assistant band director was crucial to the growing program and ultimately decided to hire another full-time person to assist the band director.

The total instruction budget for the upcoming year is just under $5 million, or almost half of the entire school budget, according to data from the school board’s August 19 meeting.

The total budget of $10,525,818, which is $1 million more than last year and will help structure the food services program, which has been upgraded to include a variety of more nutritional foods with a budget of $407,000, Phillips said.

“We hired a food service consultant, Walker Quality Services, to design and implement our new food service program,” Phillips said in a written statement.

Williams said both faculty and students are loving the new menu options and more people are buying school food.

“The food program is still new, but there’s more of a variety,” Williams said. “The kids are wanting to buy more. They’re excited to try the new things. I really feel like overall the teachers are excited as well.”

Another proud moment for the district, Phillips said, was receiving a score of 98 on the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas, something the school has consistently been able to do, she added.

“I think this started in 2002 and we’ve been able to have a superior rating every time,” Phillips said. “So we’re excited about that.”

Courtney Blackann is a reporter for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0152.

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