Tucumcari schools set for $15 million budget for 2010

Thomas Garcia

The Tucumcari Public Schools Board of Education discussed a preliminary budget of $15 million for the 2010 school year.

“Thanks to $560,000 in stimulus funds the budget will be about the same as last year’s,” said Trudy Bauler, TPS Business Manager at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Bauler said that the stimulus funds helped to fill the hole in the budget left by a $580,000 cut in funding by the state, Bauler said.
“By carrying over $20,000 in funds from this year our budget should be the same,” Bauler said.

TPS also received $700,000 in additional Title I and IDEA-B funding, Bauler said.

“Those funds have a lot of strings attached and are restricted to what they can be used on,” Bauler said.

Superintendent Aaron McKinney gave the board an update on the current construction of phase I of the high school and the funding on phase II.
“Phase I is about 50 percent complete,” McKinney said “The foundation has been poured and they should be erecting walls soon.”

McKinney said that on June 18 he will travel to Farmington and appear before the Public Schools Capital Outlay Committee (PSCOC) to request an additional $14.8 million for phase II of the high school.

“We hope that we get the money,” McKinney said. “Right now everyone in the state is struggling to get funding for their projects.”

The high school project has gone from being ranked 78 to third by the PSCOC, McKinney said. Having a shovel-ready project may also play a key part in getting the funding, he said.

“Hopefully they will see that we are ready to proceed with the project,” McKinney said. “Overall, that is our goal to transition instantly from phase I to phase II.”

A unusually large crowd was in attendance Tuesday night as six dozen students, parents and coaches were present for student awards.
The board recognized 48 students for their participation in state competitions including FFA, FCCLA, wrestling, science club and track and field.
Each of the students were presented with a plaque from the board members.

The board members also recognized Suzanne Byrd, high school math teacher, as “Teacher of the Month.”

“I did not expect to win this award,” Byrd said.

Assistant superintendent and State Rep. Dennis Roch, (R), presented Byrd with her award.

Byrd said that she worked for 14 years as a civil engineer before teaching at Tucumcari High School. She said that she is also currently working for Engineers Inc.’s Tucumcari-based office.