EARLY — The Early ISD Board of Trustees held a public hearing and unanimously approved a 2019-20 proposed tax rate of $1.17 per $100 property valuation — the same as last year — during Monday night's meeting at the EISD Administration Office.

The actual tax rate is anticipated to be lower than $1.17 Early ISD Superintendent Wes Beck told board members during the meeting.

“This is exactly what it was last year, the same numbers,” Beck said. “The tax, we think, is going to be less than a $1.10, the actual tax rate. And we will approve it in the August meeting. We'll have more guidance from the TEA on what exactly it's going to be.”

The board also approved a proposed budget for the 2019-20 school year, but that too is likely to change.

“This is the same budget we presented to y'all at the May meeting, a balanced budget figured on 17 cents,” Beck said. “This is based on last year's tax values so this is all going to change and I want you to be aware. We're going to adopt this as a really, really conservative number. It doesn't have the new money figured into it. We're going to adopt it, but you need to understand there is going to be a budget amendment, probably in July, and it will be for a significant number. We're going to be in really good shape.”

Beck also discussed recently passed Texas Legislation, including House Bill 3, which will play a role in the impending changes to the Early budgets. House Bill 3 includes $6.5 billion to improve public education and pay teachers, plus $5.1 billion to lower school district taxes, according to the Texas Tribune.

Lawmakers estimate House Bill 3 will lower tax rates by an average of 8 cents per $100 valuation in 2020 and 13 cents in 2021. That would mean a tax cut of $200 for the owner of a $250,000 home in 2020 and $325 in 2021.

In other items of business:

• The board unanimously approved the 2019-20 budget for Heartland Co-Op SSA.

• The board unanimously approved the 2019-20 contract with Region 15.

• Joe Buse with Early First United Methodist addressed the board regarding a new contract between the church and school district regarding parking. Early ISD currently uses a parking lot on the church's property and has since 1994. Further discussion on the matter was tabled to a future meeting to allow time for board members additional time to research the church's proposal.

• Board members Sandy Benson, Anna Allen, Bobby Brinson, Robert Wade, Dr. Tammi Cox, Christina Pruett, President Shawn Russell and Beck reflected on their time at Summer Leadership Institute in Fort Worth last week and discussed what topics made an impact on them, and what they would like to see implemented at Early ISD in the future.