County schools working toward balanced budget

Published 10:01 pm Monday, September 26, 2011

Members of the Dallas County Board of Education met Monday to discuss a variety of topics including the school system’s budget and prospective plans for a walking trail in Selmont.

Chief school financial officer Susan Taylor said she was not surprised by the 2011-2012 budget, which will fiscally end on Friday, and that the school system’s operations account is in healthy balance.

“I’ve done a little bit of estimating for the end of the year,” Taylor said.  “At this point and time, you can’t tell what the end will be… we have some earmarked funds and fluent renewal … as far as general operations, we’ll have to see how it plays out.”

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Taylor said though 2012 will be the school system’s “slimmest year yet,” she’s still optimistic.

“We’re doing the best things we can to keep us in the black,” Taylor said.

Board chairman Mark Story said Monday that the board could not vote to move forward with the Selmont community walking trail/lighting project or adopt donations of land for a storm shelter at Shiloh Elementary or Southside High School, because the board’s attorney, John Pilcher, was not present to give legal advice.

“These are items the legal council is supposed to be reviewing for verbiage and legal matters of the storm shelter and community walking trail,” Story said.

The board voted to accept both items together as pending until they receive legal council from Pilcher.

Selmont Community Development Corporation member and Dallas County Commissioner Connell Towns, desires the walking trail to be placed behind Tipton-Durant Middle School — an area in his district.

And though the board did not vote to approve the project, Towns said he still feels confident about the project’s start and completion.

“I feel they’re (the board) working along with it,” Towns said. “Them working the legal thing out with the attorney seems to be a slow process … (but) I do think the board is working things out to get this walking trail done.”
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