School district makes budget adjustments

HARLINGEN — There’s the pie.

It’s the annual $200 million budget for the Harlingen school district. Now split it into 12 slices, each worth $16.6 million.

OK, we’re done. Dole out the checks, our job is done, and now we can go home, right?

You couldn’t be more wrong. After budgets are set for car allowance, Medicare, teacher retirement, worker’s compensation and other expenses, glitches arise which require budget amendments.

That’s what the Harlingen school board approved this week, said Julio Cavazos, chief finance officer.

The board approved a reduction in a budget for employee travel at Crockett Elementary. The amendment decreased the item from $2,000 to $700.

“They said, ‘We’re not going to need $1,300 in a travel budget but we do need it in a general supplies budget,’” Cavazos said. “It’s called site-based management. They want to move some of their dollars from travel to general supplies.”

This reshuffling of dollars takes place each month in accordance with changing needs. Last month, the salary for a construction manager was shifted from one source to another.

“Sometimes we get personnel that are charged to a specific funding source,” Cavazos said. “They really needed to belong to another funding source, so we made some changes there. We do monthly budget amendments and that’s to allocate personnel to the right organization.”

The construction manager was being paid $85,568 from local funds when he was supposed to have been paid from the TRE funds. TRE funds are dollars collected as a result of the Tax Ratification Election passed by voters in 2015. The construction manager is overseeing TRE projects.