Budget, superintendent search on BSISD agenda

A new budget and a new superintendent will be the main topics of conversation when Big Spring Independent School District trustees hold their monthly meeting at 5:15 p.m. Thursday in the high school board room.BSISD has been in the market for a new superintendent ever since Steven Saldivar announced earlier this month he had accepted a similar position with Anthony ISD on the New Mexico border west of El Paso. Saldivar's hiring is expected to become official Tuesday.The district's first step toward finding a replacement will be hiring an interim superintendent, action that could come as early as Thursday's meeting.As for finding a new superintendent, trustees will discuss the framework of the search process during Thursday's meeting. If the board follows the same formula as it did in 2008 (when Saldivar was hired), that process will entail hiring a search firm to seek applicants for the position.Regardless of how trustees proceed, it is likely to be several months before a new superintendent is hired, officials said.On the budget front, the board will hold a public hearing about the proposed fiscal package for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.Because of reduced property valuations in the district, Chief Financial Officer Debbie Green said BSISD will have to run a deficit of about $500,000 in its next budget, which will be formally adopted later this month.The proposed tax rate of $1.449 per $100 property valuation is the maximum the district can levy, Green said. Slightly more than $1.19 of that new rate will be devoted to maintenance and operation expenses, while 33 cents will be dedicated to debt service.Expenditures are expected to top $37.9 million this fiscal year, up almost $1 million from the previous budget. Most of that increase comes in the form of a planned 3 percent from midpoint pay raise for all employees (except for those in the maintenance and custodial departments, who received a raise earlier this summer).