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MISD continues to improve financials

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

According to Interim Superintendent Dr. Jack Cockrill, the Medina ISD continues to show improvement of its financial status. "We're halfway through the year," said Cockrill to the MISD Board of Trustees Monday evening, "and we're looking good."
Cockrill reviewed the district's monthly financial report with the board at the March 17 regular meeting of the board. Cockrill noted that payroll has currently expended a little less than the 50 percent expected for being at mid-year. Due to attrition, that line item should continue to improve to the end of the year, he said.
The superintendent was also happy to report that 83.4 percent of tax revenues have already been collected for the year.
There continues to be a shortfall in the MISD budget due to a failure to realize a drop in state and federal funding for several years when the Medina district was reclassified as a "rich" district. That was compounded by falling enrollment, which affected the Average Daily Attendance (ADA), upon which funding is based.
"We have to find that money," said Cockrill, "but I think we are close to having a plan to do that."
Increased enrollment would have a very positive effect on the district's monetary state. Consequently, Cockrill was happy to share a report with the board called the Report Card, a summary of the district's achievement of state standards. The most current Report Card covers the 2013-14 school year and indicates the district offers a quality school environment for its students.
Cockrill's Power Point presentation showed that in the three areas of measurement for the elementary grade - student achievement, progress and closing performance gaps - the Medina school far exceeded the state average. High school students have an additional measurement standard, post secondary readiness. Like their younger counterparts, Medina's secondary students scored well above and beyond state averages.
"You just have to be proud of these students, and of your teachers," said Cockrill.
The elementary students also had a good attendance record at 97.2 percent and the high school reached 97 percent.
Cockrill then displayed a graphic that showed that Medina's class sizes are considerably smaller than the state average. Cockrill said the one-on-one instruction students receive in the Medina schools should act as a draw to bring in more students.
In other business, the board accepted a check from Woodmen of the World representatives Arnold Harst and Marianne Sandidge for $250 to be used for elementary school technology. Harst also invited the board to ask the Woodmen for any flags the district might need.
"We offer these flags free to non-profits and schools," said Harst. "It's not a big item in your budget, but if we can save you $300 a year, we'll be happy to."
Not yet finished with WOW largesse, Harst noted that the local organization of the fraternal insurance group will be sponsoring the DARE Program for the Medina school. "DARE is more than a program about not doing drugs," Harst said. "It teaches kids to make good decisions in their lives."
Then Harst said his group would like to be involved in the school's volunteer program as well. "Just let us know what we can do."
The board also adopted the calendar for the 2014-15 year, with school beginning August 25 and ending the first week of June. The third six weeks will end prior to the Christmas break.