First Posted: 2/11/2014

Dallas School District Board directors approved a proposed preliminary budget on Feb. 10 with several members voicing objections to possible tax increases..

Board member Fred Parry voted “no” to the proposed budget. He said tax increases it contained would mean unnecessary hardships for homeowners.

Those increases were attributed to an inordinate burden placed on the district to fund state workers pensions, including teachers.

Member Bruce Goeringer said he would not vote in favor of the proposed budget if it is presented as a final budget later this year.

Goeringer said because 2014 is an election year, the board would have an opportunity to send a message to state legislators that the high pension rate is unacceptable to the district.

“Although legislators would, in effect, be voting to reduce their own pensions, they may believe they need to take action on this in order to be elected or re-elected,” said Goeringer.

The proposed budget in the amount of $35,311,968 with a millage of 12.5952 was passed in order to preserve the district’s ability to raise taxes to 4.6% in its final budget later this year if deemed necessary.

Board member Jeff Thomas said, in spite of the board passing the preliminary budget, he believes each member hopes to avoid raising taxes by the full 4.6% as permitted by state law.

Superintendent Frank Gallicki said several state bills are presently in the legislature which would reduce pension costs and encouraged residents to contact their legislators.

In another matter, Diane Ruff, food services director, said the Departments of Agriculture and Education would conduct a food service review of the district on March 4, 5, and 6.

Ruff described the review as “pretty intense,” but added she is confident the district is up to state standards and will do very well.

Parent Lisa Alees voiced concerns about a recent fight on the high school campus and was assured by Gallicki sufficient staffing was available at all times to monitor students and deal with disciplinary issues.

The next meeting of the Dallas School District will take place at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 10.

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