The Stephenville ISD board of trustees approved the district's 2010-11 operating budget and tax rate at a called meeting Monday.

According to Deborah Hummel, assistant superintendent of business and finance, the general operating and child nutrition funds are balanced, while debt service shows a deficit budget for the coming fiscal year.

The general operating fund's revenues and expenditures total $24,586,883, the child nutrition fund totals $1,401,269 and the debt service fund revenues add up to $1,369,715, which is $441,474 below expenses.

In regards to debt service, Superintendent Dr. Darrell Floyd said the district will utilize money in the debt service fund balance to maintain the same I&S (interest and sinking, or debt) rate as the 2009-10 school year.

According to a legal notice published in the Empire-Tribune, the district currently has $9,939,081 in outstanding and unpaid bonded indebtedness.

In addition, the board recently called a bond election to fund facility improvements at three elementary campuses. Hummel said if the estimated $34 million bond package is not approved by voters in November, the board will need to look at the I&S rate again next year and consider adjusting the rate.

The newly adopted tax rate of $1.147 per $100 evaluation is the same as last year's rate.

While the board made quick work of approving the budget and tax rate, Floyd expressed regret that the district would most likely not be able to offer pay increases to district personnel not tied to the mandated teacher (step) pay scale. He attributed the inability to not give pay increases to the "current state of enrollment" within the district.

"It pains me to not be able to give a two percent raise to the 40 percent (of district employees) who are not tied to the scale," Floyd said.