Frisco ISD is taking advantage of some rare bonus money. During a presentation to the FISD Board of Trustees last week, Kimberly Pickens, chief financial officer, said the district is projecting a $41 million surplus for its maintenance and operations (M&O) budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year. That’s a large increase from the $3.6 million surplus FISD officials projected before the budget was adopted last year. Pickens said there are several reasons for the larger-than-expected surplus. For one, property tax revenue came in at $18.6 million more than anticipated. State aid, based on enrollment, came in at $1.6 million more than projected. view article arw

Austin ISD could run at a $28.3 million deficit in fiscal year 2019, based on a presentation to the district’s board of trustees Monday about the recommended budget. Recommended budget expenditures for FY 2019 will total $1.613 billion, while revenues will total $1.4158 billion, according to the presentation. If approved, the recommended budget includes a 1.5 percent increase for regular, part-time and full-time employees that will cost the district $8.1 million. view article arw

Lamar, Fain, and Sheppard elementary's are amongst the next group of schools to see an upgrade in their security system. This comes after the School District Board of Trustees approved Phase 3 of their security initiative plan. In 2015, the school board was granted a $63.5 million school bond in which voters approved $59.5 million of it. With that bond, the school board decided to upgrade all their school security systems. view article arw

The Boerne Independent School District approved a motion to increase salaries and health benefits for its employees. The Board of Trustees approved a three percent raise for teachers, nurses and librarians as well as a two percent increase for their new pay grade. view article arw

Despite a drop in revenue and a "tighter budget than normal," Beaumont ISD is hoping to raise teacher pay and offer all employees a stipend to combat ongoing recruitment and retention issues. view article arw

It's an issue districts are dealing with around San Antonio after state education funding was severely cut. North East Independent School District is facing a $17 million budget shortfall for next year. They plan to reduce 97 positions in part to break even. view article arw

Leander ISD employees could see a 2 percent increase in their pay next academic year as trustees mulled the idea during a recent board meeting. At their May 17 meeting, the district board of trustees reviewed the district's annual compensation study recommending a 2 percent raise for LISD employees, approved the use of unassigned epinephrine on campuses for student health emergencies and considered recommendations to expand programming. view article arw

Posting your districts "Proposed" Budget and your districts "Adopted" Budget are still required. Please reference our templates page for "Proposed " Budget and "Adopted" Budget Templates and "Budget posting notice for setting tax rates".  view article arw

Note from Woody: 2017-18 LPE-DPE Side-by-Side Template (r5 wb9)  State Funding has changed the Web SOF as of 5/8/18. I have updated the side-by-side template to reflect these changes. They expect to make another change at the end of May (as Omar says, "stay tuned").  Be sure to re-enter your previous and current six weeks attendance data since numbers often change with corrections. Remember!!  This template is an "as is projection" of your state and local revenue based on you current data.  LINK to 2017-18 LPE-DPE Template (r5,wb9) read more arw

Tomball ISD’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018-19 totals $130 million and allows for salary increases, a raise in the starting salary for teachers and hiring new employees. Although the budget proposes no change to the district’s property tax rate, Chief Financial Officer Jim Ross proposed a change to the fiscal year start date to make a balanced budget possible for the upcoming fiscal year. “We are looking at a fiscal year change. That’s actually how we were able to balance this budget, because if you look at the general fund budget, you’ll see that we would have some difficulty [balancing that],” Ross said during the meeting. view article arw

The Tyler ISD Board of Trustees may take action on the name of Robert E. Lee High School in its June meeting. Board President Fritz Hager said he intends to place an action item on the agenda for the June 7 board workshop meeting. The meeting will be scheduled in the evening and include public comment. view article arw

Hey, Texplainer: How much is spent educating the average public school student in Texas? It depends on who you ask. Both the Texas Education Agency and the National Education Association track per-pupil funding. But their numbers don’t quite add up. The former, which calculates budgeted expenditures by school district, will tell you that Texas spent $9,150 per student for the 2016 fiscal year — a slight increase from the year prior when Texas spent $8,937 per student. The NEA, a teachers group, tells a slightly different story. According to the latest data released by the NEA, Texas spent $10,456 per student for the 2017-18 school year —$2,300 below the national average.  view article arw

After adopting an $18 million deficit budget in fiscal year 2017-18, Cy-Fair ISD could face an even larger deficit in FY 2018-19 as state revenue declines year over year, Chief Financial Officer Stuart Snow said Monday night at the district’s board work session. “There are a number of factors that are influencing the budget process this year … [including]our state revenue declining every year due to increases in our taxable property values,” he said. As property values rise and state revenue for the district declines, local property tax revenue is not able to offset this decrease, Snow said. He is projecting about $52 billion in taxable value in FY 2018-19—a 4.16 percent increase over the previous year. The state will fund about 37.7 percent of the district’s operating revenues in FY 2018-19, so the local taxpayers will make up the other 62.3 percent, he said.  view article arw

The future of classroom programs and teacher pay raises could be in jeopardy as Burnet Consolidated Independent School District joins the list of “property rich” schools to pay into the state of Texas’s so-called “Robin Hood” school finance system. For the 2018-19 school year, BCISD will be subject to “recapture” for the first time with a payout of approximately $350,000 due to the increase in area property values. Under the Texas school finance law, districts categorized as property rich send an amount of locally generated property tax revenue to the state for disbursement to “property poor” districts. “That’s money that goes away that can’t be spent here,” BCISD Superintendent Keith McBurnett said. “When you’re sending millions of dollars away, it makes it a challenge to balance the needs of your students and staff.” view article arw

Based on preliminary tax values and the projected increased enrollment, Decatur ISD is expecting an increase of $3.3 million in revenue for the 2018-19 fiscal year. Deputy Superintendent Cindy Tatum informed the board of the revenue projections Monday night. The district’s preliminary tax roll from the Wise County Appraisal District showed a gain of $211.7 million to $2.027 billion from last year’s certified total of $1.815 billion. With a 98 percent collection rate, the district would bring in $21.874 million, $2.158 million more than last year’s $19.716 million. view article arw

The school district of Oakland, California, has been struggling to right its finances for years. One reason that it can’t right it’s Books is that charter schools are a drain in the district. Recently the district learned what the charters cost, by reading the report from “In the Public Interest.” The annual cost: $57.4 Million. view article arw

Teaching jobs are on the chopping block at San Antonio ISD, but it’s not the only school district struggling to stay afloat. North East ISD leaders say that they’ve scaled back on expenses like travel, food, and electricity by shutting off the lights and bringing down the thermostat. But they say those measures are still not enough to get the budget on track.  NEISD student enrollment dropped by 1,400 from 2017-2018. "One of the main things we've seen is a trend in charter schools.  view article arw

On May 5, The Texas Tribune hosted a conversation about school finance reform in Texas with four members of the Texas Public School Finance Commission. Community Impact Newspaper was a media partner for the event.  Austin ISD Chief Financial Officer Nicole Conley Johnson was one of the speakers at the event to explain the district’s financial challenges resulting in the state school finance system. Here are 4 takeaways that Conley Johnson provided during the event: view article arw

Over the years, I’ve often gone out to buy materials for my students. As a bilingual education teacher, I frequently find myself buying books in my students’ native language. These books, which my school doesn’t provide, are essential for my students to have if they’re to apply good literacy skills in their daily lives.  We now have an opportunity to do something about it: This year, the School Finance Commission will establish recommendations for the next legislative session. As a teacher, I see several things the commission should focus on: view article arw

While the Copperas Cove Independent School District Board of Trustees approved some financial agreements at the regular Tuesday meeting, the expense may not be feasible in future years. Superintendent Joe Burns acknowledged, if the board approved renewing the agreement between the district and Communities in Schools, it might be the last time. “I wonder if it’s the last year we’re going to be able to do the contract,” Burns said during Monday’s board workshop. An increase for the 2018-2019 school year of $3,540, is part of an effort by CIS to raise the pay of its employees. view article arw

On Friday morning The Texas Tribune  hosted a conversation about school finance reform in Texas with four members of the Texas Public School Finance Commission. Community Impact Newspaper was a media partner for the event.  Speakers were State Representative Dan Huberty, R-Houston; State Representative Diego Bernal, D-San Antonio; Todd Williams, education policy advisor to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings; and Nicole Conley Johnson, Chief Financial Officer of Austin ISD. Evan Smith, CEO of The Texas Tribune, moderated the conversation. view article arw

Three days after the election giving them $426 million in taxpayer funds for construction, Killeen Independent School District officials said proposed staff pay increases might have to be downsized. Chief financial officer Megan Bradley presented an estimated 2019 budget value between $384 million and $386 million in revenue. The 2018 budget value is $382 million in revenue. The school district’s estimated taxable value for 2018 is about $7.6 billion. Last year, that value was about $7.71 billion. view article arw

Carroll ISD’s board of trustees heard a presentation on the fiscal year 2018-19 preliminary budget at its meeting on Monday, May 7. Assistant Superintendent for Financial Services Scott Wrehe showed trustees two projections for the next school year’s budget. The first was based on a taxable growth of 7.25 percent, and the second projection was based on a taxable projection of 9.32 percent. Both projections are based on the property values Southlake received in April. “Just to give you an idea, last year our April values were up 10.8 percent; we ended up in July, they were at 8.5 percent,” Wrehe said. “So there could still be some swing in there between the April values and the values that are going to be certified in July.” view article arw

All week we've been doing a series of stories on affordability issues facing Austin. A lot of it revolves around taxes, and tonight we're taking a look at what more than half of your property tax bill goes toward -- education. In particular, what we pay into school recapture. Districts like Austin are paying money to the state to fund other districts. view article arw

After 16 years in Dallas ISD, the last 12 spent at the same school, Ashley Groce said he was looking forward to retiring in a decade right where he was. "I love my school, the teachers, administrators, everyone there," Groce said. Instead, the Stockard Middle School discipline coordinator said he received a letter this semester that indicated his job was "in excess" at the state second largest school district. view article arw

Texas will receive a little over $89.4 million from the Department of Education for post-Harvey recovery, a department news release states. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced about $693 million in new federal assistance for education institutions affected by this year's hurricanes and wildfires. view article arw

On Monday, more Houston teachers could find out whether they’re one of the roughly 250 staff members laid off by the Houston Independent School District.  Zeph Capo, President of the Houston Federation of Teachers, believes roughly 50 or so teachers already found out and said more could get that bad news on Monday. view article arw

While the number of 4-year-olds enrolled in public prekindergarten programs has increased in Texas and the state leads the way on policies supporting dual language learners, the state’s spending per 4-year-old decreased from $4,111 in 2015-16 to $3,846. The State of Preschool 2017 annual report from the National Institute for Early Education finds states are adding more pre-K services and expanding access to publicly funded programs, based on 2016-17 data. But the report also found that most state programs invest too little to help children catch up with their more advantaged peers by kindergarten.  view article arw

Texas has been a laggard in education, both in spending and outcomes, and that threatens our future.  It's no longer enough to have low taxes, light regulation and a pro-business attitude. Today, talent trumps all in the never-ending competition to attract companies and workers.  That's one reason business leaders are rallying support for a pro-school agenda. "We need to make education the bathroom bill of 2019," said Todd Williams, a public education advocate and former Goldman Sachs executive. "We need to make education the bathroom bill of 2019," said Todd Williams, a public education advocate and former Goldman Sachs executive. view article arw

Texas schools ravaged by Hurricane Harvey will be eligible to receive new federal funding to help classrooms return to their normal operations. U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the $89.4 million for Texas schools Monday. view article arw

The Floresville Independent School District Leadership Team is inviting parents and interested citizens to a presentation on a proposed tax ratification election. The presentation will be conducted Thursday, April 26, at 6:15 p.m. in the library of Floresville High School at 1813 Tiger Lane in Floresville. In an e-mail to parents, district Superintendent Sherri Bays said a tax ratification election will generate an additional $1 million per year in state funding for the district at no additional cost to taxpayers. view article arw

Midland ISD faces having to pay up to $125 million to Austin over the next two school years to be redistributed to so-called poorer school districts around the state. The chapter 41 payments are part of the “Robin Hood” school finance system that creates funding equity for school districts by taking money from districts considered “property rich” and giving those funds to schools considered “property poor.” The school board at its budget workshop Tuesday heard about budget scenarios, which would force the district to pay $55.76 million or $56.8 million depending on the increases in property values and student enrollment.  view article arw

The Little Elm ISD issued its first bond sale of $150 million on April 3 and was able to maximize the amount based on recent credit rating reports. Little Elm ISD’s financial advisor, Derek Honea of RBC Capital Markets, presented credit rating information to the Board of Trustees at Monday’s Board of Trustee’s meeting. Honea explained how the district’s sound financial management helped it obtain AAA credit rating that assisted in the sale of the first bond. view article arw

Delays and denials by the federal government are putting Texas schools at risk of losing millions of dollars in potential subsidies that would help pay for installing high-speed fiber internet in classrooms, according to state officials. Last year, state lawmakers approved $25 million to help school districts over the 2018-19 budget period replace or install fiber-optic cable, arguably the fastest, most reliable and scalable form of internet access available. In return, the federal government promised to match the state money dollar-for-dollar through the E-Rate Program, administered by the Federal Communications Commission through a nonprofit organization called the Universal Service Administrative Company, or USAC. Texas will shell out $6 million this year and, based on applications from school districts, the state is estimated to pay $16.4 million next year. view article arw

Several photographs taken behind the scenes at a Dallas Independent School District food service facility show several pallets of food items, stacked high with dozens of cases that represent thousands of dollars of wasted food being thrown in the garbage. But the district says there is minimal food waste and they hope to donate to local nonprofits soon. view article arw