Garner ISD is experiencing a level of growth that is unprecedented in its 132-year history, yet the district remains committed to small school values and fiscal responsibility by prioritizing student safety and high-quality educational experiences. On Tuesday evening the Garner ISD Board of Trustees passed a budget that included 4% salary increases for teachers and staff and increased supply budgets to support the student population growth at the district. The tax rate adopted was lowered by $0.117104 to just below $0.12, making the newly adopted tax rate $0.936096 per $100 of valuation. The tax on a $100,000 appraised property with no exemptions would now be $936, compared to last year’s amount of $1,053.
Through strategic planning, the district has been able to make several needed improvements without additional taxpayer effort. The district amended the 2020-2021 budget to include necessary infrastructure projects out of the fund balance. A large project for the district was the creation of an inner campus drive and expanded parking through a MOU with Parker County Precinct 2. District funds were used to pay for labor and materials at a substantial savings to the district. The safety of moving traffic and parents parking for events off of Highway 113 and county roads surrounding the school was the primary purpose of the paving project. Money was also expended from the fund balance to purchase a school bus and a smaller gasoline activity bus for transporting smaller groups of students to events such as golf, tennis, One Act Play, and FFA competitions. After purchasing three new buses through a grant program with the North Central Texas Council of Governments in 2019, Garner was able to update the aged bus fleet by replacing the 3 buses that were over 15 years of age. With the growth and expanded needs, the 3 buses are used daily on routes, so an additional bus was needed for emergencies, transporting classes on field trips, and transporting groups to evening activities. The outdoor pavilion area was also enclosed using funds from fund balance to temporarily house our newly donated weight room equipment and to provide an indoor activity area due to limited space in the current facilities. Garner purchased a 6 classroom portable building in the Spring of 2020 to move the secondary students out of the main building due to overcrowding and the need for more classrooms. The district is exploring the need for an additional classroom portable building as early as November or December. The space available for the portable facilities, inner campus drive, and expanded parking was possible thanks to a land donation from Mr. Mac Coalson and Mr. Phillip Hobson. The Board of Trustees also approved funds to be used for sewage and water improvements. The current septic spray area was relocated and parking was expanded from 35 spots to more than 100.
Much like the other districts in Parker County and east Palo Pinto County, Garner must continue to address the growth in our community. Providing high-quality education and a small school environment for the students of Garner ISD will continue to be a top priority. Garner ISD is proud to be a small school preparing students for a big future.
Press release provided by Rebecca Hallmark, Superintendent, Garner ISD
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