Fort Worth trustees told to expect more money from the state

FORT WORTH -- The school district could get $32 million to $53 million more in state funding over the next two years, depending on what the Legislature does, trustees were told Tuesday night.

A Senate bill would provide an additional $1.5 billion to public education over the next biennium, Deputy Superintendent Hank Johnson said. Of that, Fort Worth schools would get $11.7 million next year and $20.1 million in 2014-15.

The Senate bill would restore about a third of the money cut by the Legislature in 2011.

A House bill would restore more funding, adding $2.5 billion over the next biennium.

For Fort Worth, that would generate $22.2 million in 2013-14 and $31 million in 2014-15, Johnson said.

Johnson gave trustees the legislative update during a short report on administrators' work on the district's 2013-14 budget.

Several board members said more campus security should be considered during budgeting.

Also Tuesday, trustees approved accepting a $100,000 state grant to cover most of the costs of replacing old heating and air conditioning systems with energy-saving units that are expected to save $8,700 annually in utility costs, according to Art Cavazos, the school district's chief of district operations.

The money from the State Energy Conservation Office will be used to install 17 new rooftop units at Westcreek and Maudrie M. Walton elementary schools this summer, where the current equipment has been in use an average of 25 years.

The district also expects to get a $3,797 rebate from Oncor to help pay for the system and will kick in $28,913 to cover the total projected cost, $132,710.

Jessamy Brown, 817-390-7326

Twitter: @jessamybrown