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Arlington school board approves $433.2 million budget for 2012-13

Posted Friday, Jun. 22, 2012

By Shirley Jinkins

ARLINGTON -- School trustees approved a $433.2 million budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year late Thursday, minus a couple of items that trustees had submitted for consideration at their last meeting.

The vote was 6-0. Trustee Aaron Reich was not present.

The budget includes a 2 percent raise for all employees and an increase of $400 in teachers' beginning salaries. Those additions cost the district $6.3 million.

Beginning teachers will earn more than $46,000. A proposal at the last meeting to combine the beginning salary step with the first two pay grades for an overall salary of $47,000 for all three pay grades failed to make the final budget, because the extra expense would have thrown the budget into deficit territory.

"If someone had told me when I first walked in the doors that I'd start by making $47,000, I'd have been one happy guy," said board president Peter Baron, a former Arlington High School teacher. "I don't want anybody to tell me it's not enough money."

The budget also includes $2.4 million to provide additional testing support for all campuses -- 22 testing facilitators and 50 guidance technicians. Their services would be allocated among the campuses with consideration for enrollment, demographics and testing complexity.

One of the last-round recommendations that did not make it into the final budget was a proposal to restore receptionists at all secondary campuses at a cost of more than $448,000. That was rejected by district finance staff in favor of the testing support positions, Cindy Powell, associate superintendent of finance, said.

Trustees also approved a formal contract agreement with Interim Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos. Details were not immediately made public.

A number of principals and assistant principals were assigned Thursday night, including principals Fernando Benavides for Sam Houston High School and Larry Harmon for Lamar High School. The longtime principal at Sam Houston, Beverley McReynolds, was moved to Venture High School.

Jeff Provence was named principal at Boles Junior High, and Selena Bastidas as principal at Speer Elementary.

Shirley Jinkins, 817-390-7657

Twitter: @startelegram

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