Federally issued money from the Impact Aid program for the Killeen Independent School District is expected to rise in years to come following national legislation.
The KISD board of trustees was provided an update on Impact Aid in a workshop Tuesday, with information gathered from the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools conference that KISD officials attended last week.
Impact Aid assists school districts that have lost property tax revenue from the presence of tax-exempt federal property, such as Fort Hood, and may also be given for increased expenditures from the enrollment of federally connected children.
Impact Aid basic support payments are budgeted at $46.6 million in KISD’s fiscal year 2018 general fund budget, according to the workshop agenda packet.
Chief Financial Officer Megan Bradley said a slight increase in Impact Aid money is expected in future years after an omnibus bill introduced by the House Appropriations Committee provided for an $81 million increase to the $1.2 billion already set for Impact Aid across the U.S.
In other business
The board workshop also reviewed the proposed schematic design for its 14th middle school, the construction of which is slated to begin in October.
Officials with Huckabee, the company contracted to design the school, consulted trustees on its current design.
The middle school will be developed on 33 undeveloped acres west of Warriors Path in Harker Heights and is scheduled to open in August 2020.
The cost for the entire project is budgeted at $54.03 million, and programmed in the KISD Strategic Facilities Plan. The school is not funded with any bond-issued tax dollars.
Similarities to Roy J. Smith Middle School off Bunny Trail were drawn by board members, who expressed concerns over traffic congestion. Various possibilities for road plots and traffic flow were discussed to prevent excessive gridlock.
Trustee Susan Jones said she was disappointed by the angular design of the school.
The design, which features many “crooks” and “crannies” are built around the east-to-west orientation for cost efficiency and directing natural sunlight, according to Huckabee designers.
“It’s a security nightmare,” Jones said. “When I think about somebody sticking a bomb package in the corners and what kind of damage that could do, that bothers me.”
Concerns over natural water retention ponds for drainage and parking spaces were mulled, and Huckabee was urged to further consider similarities to Roy J. Smith in polishing its design.
The school will include a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program, which takes priority in shaping the final design of the school.
The design will be brought forward on the April 10 consent agenda for consideration.
Also Tuesday, the board continued discussion of items related to fiscal year 2019 budget planning, and are waiting on Bell County Appraisal District property valuation estimations for the year before proceeding with further steps.
The district begins budget planning in December each year, which includes student projections that drive revenue, expenditure and staffing budgets.
Another factor affecting next year’s budget will be KISD’s inability to keep up with the state’s 7.4 percent growth in property value.
Craft said the next steps in determining specifics for the 2019 budget will depend upon these numbers.
“So much is contingent upon how we compare to the state growth in values,” Craft said.
“We feel pretty comfortable, but anxiously anticipate preliminary values.”
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