Billions in taxpayer dollars are being used to pay tuition at religious schools throughout the country, as state voucher programs expand dramatically and the line separating public education and religion fades. School vouchers can be used at almost any private school, but the vast majority of the money is being directed to religious schools, according to a Washington Post examination of the nation’s largest voucher programs. Vouchers, government money that covers education costs for families outside the public schools, vary by state but offer up to $16,000 per student per year, and in many cases fully cover the cost of tuition at private schools. In some schools, a large share of the student body is benefiting from a voucher, meaning a significant portion of the school’s funding is coming directly from the government. view article arw

Lubbock ISD is going into the 2024-25 school year overspending on its budget. The Board of Trustees has approved a deficit of $8.6 million. The district says this went to finance much needed pay raises for its staff, but Superintendent Dr. Kathy Rollo says she is not happy with the overall result. view article arw

As Fort Bend ISD enters a new fiscal year, it is doing so with a balanced budget. Other Houston-area school districts, such as Houston ISD and Spring Branch ISD, announced major cuts due to massive budget shortfalls this year. Fort Bend ISD was not among them – but that's because the district made about $39 million in cuts in recent years. view article arw

Bridgeport ISD’s budget will be in the red for another fiscal year. At the board’s last regularly scheduled meeting, trustees passed a $1,333,276 deficit budget. Total revenues for the 2024-2025 operating budget come in at $21,503,740 while expenditures total at $22,867,016. view article arw

To address potential budget shortfalls for the 2024-25 fiscal year, Carroll ISD officials have created a budget reduction advisory committee. Community members can volunteer to serve on the committee and the district will begin accepting applications July 22. view article arw

As Montgomery ISD Superintendent Mark Ruffin reflects on his first 100 days with the district, finding ways to continue investing in students and staff remains a top priority. Like many other Texas districts, Montgomery ISD officials project a deficit budget for the 2024-25 school year — after the district received no additional funds from the state due to lawmakers declining to pass a teacher pay raise bill or a comprehensive school funding plan, despite broad support and a record $30 billion-plus budget surplus.  view article arw

The U.S. Attorney's Office has arrested a former Valentine Independent School District employee who was arrested on criminal charges related to an alleged scheme to fraudulently misappropriate school district funds for personal expenses. view article arw

Georgetown ISD closed deliberations on its fiscal year 2024-25 budget of $150.39 million with final approval of a financial plan that includes increases to staff compensation amid stagnant state funding and higher operating costs. What you need to know At a June 17 board meeting, GISD's Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Hanna presented a budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year based on an operating budget of $150.39 million with a maximum total tax rate of $1.0567 per $100 of valuation. view article arw

VALENTINE — Ernesto “Ernie” Villarreal Jr., previous Valentine ISD business manager and tax assessor-collector, was arrested on Monday for criminal charges relating to an alleged scheme in which he fraudulently misappropriated school district funds for personal expenses. Villarreal, 42, of Marfa, was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 13 on one count of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds and eight counts of wire fraud. “Defendant engaged in multiple schemes to embezzle, steal, obtain by fraud, convert, and misapply property owned, and under the care, custody, or control of the District,” states the indictment.  If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison for the federal theft charge and up to 20 years in prison for each wire fraud charge, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. view article arw

Arlington Independent School District (ISD) passed an unbalanced budget for the 2024-2025 school year. After several months of work, the school board passed a budget that costs $1.2 billion in total. The district will spend $42 million on its Child Nutrition Fund, $132 million on its Debt Service Fund, $380 million on its Capital Projects Fund, and $676 million on its General Fund. view article arw

Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD Superintendent Jim Chadwell is in a position other school district leaders envy. A deluge of new houses are inbound. More residents. More students. More new schools. The downside, Chadwell said, is clear: state funding cannot keep up with his booming district. Growing districts are among the most impacted by the Texas Legislature not increasing public education funding in 2023, according to a Texas A&M University school finance expert. The others? Small districts in urban areas and rural school systems. view article arw

San Antonio ISD is now facing a sad reality, one its top leader called "dire." "I just want to make sure that everybody, the public, understands that we are in a dire financial situation," said Superintendent Jaime Aquino. "We find ourselves (here) because of where Austin has put us." On Monday night, the school board for San Antonio's third-biggest district approved the 2024-25 budget, which reflected a $53.7 million deficit. view article arw

The Judson Independent School District Board of Trustees approved a 1% pay increase for teachers, librarians, counselors and nurses on Tuesday night. The pay increase will take effect during the upcoming 2024-2025 school year. A $500 one-time incentive payment will be provided to all other staff, to be disbursed in December. view article arw

The San Antonio Independent School District, like many districts in Bexar County and across Texas, plans to spend millions of dollars more than its expected revenue for the 2024-2025 school year. SAISD’s board of trustees approved a $538 million budget for the general fund on Monday — nearly $54 million more than the district’s expected general fund revenue. view article arw

Expenses for the FY 2024-25 budget are expected to be $363.44 million, while revenue is expected to reach $343.14 million—leaving a shortfall of $20.3 million—according to a preliminary budget discussion held during a June 17 board meeting. “We’re looking at a $20 million deficit, which is hard to swallow,” PISD Chief Financial Officer Michele Seese said. In spite of budget restraints, district officials approved a 3% raise for teachers and staff in FY 2024-25. view article arw

Expenses for the FY 2024-25 budget are expected to be $363.44 million, while revenue is expected to reach $343.14 million—leaving a shortfall of $20.3 million—according to a preliminary budget discussion held during a June 17 board meeting. “We’re looking at a $20 million deficit, which is hard to swallow,” PISD Chief Financial Officer Michele Seese said. In spite of budget restraints, district officials approved a 3% raise for teachers and staff in FY 2024-25. view article arw

EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14/CBS4) — Teachers and employees at the El Paso School District will not have pay increases for the 2024-2025 school year.  On Monday, the El Paso ISD School Board voted to not offer pay increases for employees.  The board adopted its budget for the upcoming school year with a deficit of $18.4 million.  Funds from the deficit will go toward general expenses and maintenance for the district.  The district will look for funding for a possible one-time stipend for employees throughout the year. view article arw

Killeen Independent School District's superintendent addressed the several million dollar deficit the district is facing. This is the second time Dr. Jo Ann Fey has been in the budget planning process for KISD, but this year the district is faced with what she describes as a 'perfect storm.' view article arw

Northwest ISD will once again be operating in a deficit for the new fiscal year. At its regularly scheduled meeting Monday, the NISD Board of Trustees adopted the 2024-2025 budget that includes a roughly $15.8 million deficit. view article arw

On Tuesday night, the Beaumont Independent School District board voted to approve a proposal for employee raises. However, voters are the ones who get the final say on the November ballot. If the proposal is approved by voters, all full-time employees will receive a 5% raise that would take effect in December 2024. While the raise would come from taxpayers, BISD says the increase in salary would attract more employees amid a national teacher shortage. view article arw

Lockhart Independent School District will enter next year with a balanced budget. Last night, its board of trustees approved the budget for next year which will include pay raises for teachers and staff. “In Lockhart, we have a saying that we like to say, ‘Lockhart leading,’” said Lockhart ISD Superintendent Mark Estrada. view article arw

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Eanes ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved the budget for the 2024-25 school year at its June 18 regular meeting. It provides a 2% pay increase for teachers and staff and adjusts to declining enrollment. According to the board, the approved budget includes $189.4 million in revenue, countered by $190.6 million in expenditures, with $94.7 million “recaptured” by the State of Texas resulting in a budgeted deficit of 1.2 million. view article arw

At an Austin ISD school board meeting back in March, Trustee Candace Hunter shared a sobering message. “There is no rescue coming. There’s no one coming to save us. It’s only going to get worse,” she said. Hunter, who represents District 1, was talking about the multimillion-dollar budget deficit Austin ISD is facing. Trustees and district officials have spent months trying to prepare the public for the fact that money is going to be tight and it’s unlikely Texas will lend a helping hand. Originally, administrators estimated Austin ISD would be about $30 million in the hole next fiscal year. According to a presentation earlier this month though, that figure is now about $56 million, despite the district identifying tens of millions of dollars in spending cuts. view article arw

Royse City, TX (June 19, 2024) – Royse City Independent School District is proud to be recognized by The Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO) with two prestigious awards: 2024 Award of Merit for Purchasing Operations and Award of Excellence in Financial Management. The Award of Merit was established in 2009 to recognize Texas school districts, open-enrollment charter schools, and education services centers that are committed to following professional standards in the acquisition of goods and services. Each year, volunteers with the TASBO Purchasing & Supply Management Research Committee evaluate the award criteria to ensure it represents the latest best practices. They then review new and recertification applications. For 2024, only 77 recipients met the stringent criteria to qualify for the award. With 1,200 School Districts in the State of Texas, this is truly a prestigious award. view article arw

Arlington ISD trustees seemed cautiously optimistic as they approved the district’s budget for the next year, despite a red-font $25.5 million deficit decorating the plan.  view article arw

Arlington ISD trustees seemed cautiously optimistic as they approved the district’s budget for the next year, despite a red-font $25.5 million deficit decorating the plan.  view article arw

Keller ISD is cutting costs every which way. On Fridays during summer months, district staff do not work. Recently, administrators made Monday a remote work day. After all, working from home saves the district thousands of dollars, Superintendent Tracy Johnson said during a June 20 board meeting. view article arw

The Austin ISD Board of Trustees voted to approve a 2024-25 budget that will require the district to dip into its savings account to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. Austin ISD’s annual operating budget will total nearly $954 million after a vote on Thursday. How large the district’s budget deficit will be during the next fiscal year largely hinges on whether the school board calls a Voter Approval Tax Rate Election in November and the outcome of that election. view article arw

On an unseasonably cool Thursday, July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress declared total independence from King George III and Great Britain. In doing so, the founding fathers threw off the yoke of tyranny, creating a new form of government whose power was to be derived only from the consent of the people they govern. Radical at the time, the actions of men such as John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson paved the way for the United States Constitution just 13 years later and what we know today as the longest-standing democracy in the world. view article arw

The Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees signed off on the budget for the next school year, the district now facing a multi-million dollar deficit. With that looming, the district is considering turning to voters for help. Thursday’s meeting was lengthy, with trustees approving the budget just before midnight. The district is set to be $41 million in the hole in the 2024-2025 academic year. view article arw

At an Austin ISD school board meeting back in March, Trustee Candace Hunter shared a sobering message. “There is no rescue coming. There’s no one coming to save us. It’s only going to get worse,” she said. Hunter, who represents District 1, was talking about the multimillion-dollar budget deficit Austin ISD is facing. Trustees and district officials have spent months trying to prepare the public for the fact that money is going to be tight and it’s unlikely Texas will lend a helping hand. view article arw

The Seguin ISD is taking the first steps towards potentially asking voters for some much needed financial relief. The Seguin ISD Board of Trustees this week gave the go ahead for an audit that is required for district’s looking to ask voters for a tax rate increase using a Voter Approved Tax Rate Election. As initially reported by the Seguin Daily News, the Seguin ISD faces an almost $4 million deficit. view article arw

The Lubbock ISD Board of Trustees approved the 2024-25 budget at tonight’s regular meeting. The board approved a deficit budget, including a 2% raise for teachers, counselors, librarians, diagnosticians, nurses, and campus and district administration, and a 6% raise for aides, paraprofessionals, and police officers, approved as part of the district compensation plan in May. The adopted budget includes: view article arw

The South San Antonio Independent School District is the latest in the city to institute a pay increase for employees. On Thursday, the district’s board of trustees approved a 2% increase for all district employees ahead of the 2024-2025 school year. The entry pay for teachers at South San ISD is $59,350, up nearly $1,000 from the prior school year. view article arw

The enrollment and attendance at Lufkin ISD has slightly dipped, according to chief financial officer Jill Gaston.  The Lufkin ISD Board of Trustees hosted its first summer budget workshop Tuesday at the Lufkin ISD Administration Building. Lufkin ISD had 7,046 students in the fall of 2023, Gaston said. At the end of May, that number fell to 6,889 students, a dropoff of 157 students.  “It's no secret that Lufkin ISD has faced its share of challenges moving forward based on the last couple of budgets adopted,” Gaston said. “Studies around Lufkin predicted a slight decrease in enrollment numbers. We have to plan for the slide again. We are going to drop the number by another 200 students. We hope to get to a real number as far as revenue is concerned and allow us to plan a much, much more conservative, frugal budget.” view article arw