Leander ISD is expected to adopt a nearly $13.1 million shortfall for its fiscal year 2024-25 budget.

Chief Financial Officer Pete Pape presented the district’s proposed budget for next school year at a June 6 board of trustees meeting as the board prepares to take a vote in late June.

The overview

The district’s budget projections include $448.49 million in revenues and $460.36 million in expenditures, according to district documents. Additionally, the district will transfer $1.23 million to other district funds resulting in a $13.1 million budget shortfall. Unlike previous projections, the shortfall now falls within the district’s budget parameter—set at 3% of revenues—by about $18,000.

The shortfall has decreased from the district’s prior projection of $15 million as the district cut department budgets by around $900,000 and reduced some positions, including 20 bus driver positions that were not needed, Pape told Community Impact.

The proposed budget includes a 2.5% salary increase for all staff and dozens of new positions, including positions for the district’s new police department, positions to address growth and positions that were previously funded by grants.

As property values have increased by 7.46%, the district will pay almost $11.5 million in recapture, which is about $2 million higher than last school year, according to district information.

Also of note

LISD is projected to adopt a tax rate of $1.0869 per $100 valuation—a 28% decrease since FY 2018-19. In 2023, Texas lawmakers passed Senate Bill 2, which compresses school districts' tax rates.

Next school year, a household with an average market value of $628,165 will pay $4,635 in property taxes to LISD, which is $109 less than in the 2023-24 school year, according to district documents.

The context

In the 2023-24 school year, LISD has faced budgetary concerns amid several cuts to federal and state funding. The district saw the following funding reductions:The basic allotment of state funding per student has remained unchanged since 2019. Meanwhile, the district has started a police department costing nearly $7 million to meet new state requirements.

For FY 2023-24, the district adopted a budget with a $6.5 million shortfall that has since risen to $8.2 million, Pape said.

What’s next

The board will vote to adopt the FY 2024-25 budget at its next meeting on June 27 before approving a new tax rate in August or September, Pape said.