Leander ISD board passes $387M budget with 2% raises, new campus staffing

Leander ISD admin building
Leander ISD's board of trustees approved the budgets in a 6-1 vote with Aaron Johnson in dissent. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)

Leander ISD's board of trustees approved the budgets in a 6-1 vote with Aaron Johnson in dissent. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)

Leander ISD’s board adopted a $387.5 million operating general fund budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year June 17. The budget year begins July 1.

About 80% of the budget is for instruction, or goes directly to students, LISD Finance Director Elaine Cogburn said.

The budget includes 2% midpoint staff raises, starting teacher salaries at $50,900, new campus positions at Tarvin Elementary School opening in August, start-up positions for Elementary School No. 29 opening in 2022 and other district expenditures. Fine arts allocations will also equitably increase at elementary and middle school campuses, Cogburn said. The budget does not include coronavirus-related costs or major maintenance.



Projected revenue for 2021-22 totals $368.5 million. The projected total for the current fiscal year is $370.9 million. Local revenue, which drives the budget, were greater than the budget estimated due to tax collections, Cogburn said, and revenue is remaining flat between the years. The state would provide about 21% of the next year’s budget.

“So as the district is able to cover the cost of education locally, the state is pitching in less to fund that cost,” Cogburn said.


The new budget considers a 15.68% increase in the district’s property value growth, 3% student growth, the local homestead exemption, increased local revenue estimates and other revenue factors.




The board approved the budgets in a 6-1 vote with Aaron Johnson in dissent. Johnson said he was concerned about budget deficits.

"I remain concerned about the level of deficit spending and the trend of deficit spending," he said. "So I'm still very concerned about where this budget is landing."

The 2021-22 budget deficit will be about $25.5 million, Cogburn said. But the current 2020-21 budget projected a $31 million deficit and will end with $6.1 million.

“Even though we started out looking very bleak, we’ve been able to turn that around,” Cogburn said. “So hopefully we’ll be able to do the same in the 2021-22 budget.”

The board approves two more budgets in addition to the operational general fund budget. The 2021-22 debt service budget, which reflects the interest and sinking, or I&S, tax rate, will leave $36 million for the early payment for debt at the end of the 2021-22 budget. In the $15.6 million child nutrition budget, there is expected to be a $416,877 surplus budget.

Cogburn said the tax rate is expected to go down about $0.07 to $1.3472. The board will approve the tax rate in August or September.

The board also received a $933.4 million bond recommendation June 17, which included elementary school, middle school, high school and districtwide projects. The deadline for the board to call a Nov. 2 bond election is Aug. 16.
By Taylor Girtman

Reporter, Cedar Park and Leander

Taylor Girtman became the reporter for the Cedar Park-Leander edition in February 2020. Taylor has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Florida.



MOST RECENT

student learning
Leander ISD's virtual learning program exceeds capacity after recent interest

The program waitlist began July 21 with 101 applicants in its first day.

Mortgage purchase applications are down year over year, but the Austin housing market remains hot. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin housing market still hot but showing signs of slowing down

Experts say that a decrease in mortgage purchase applications points to “a reversion back to norm” in the Austin housing market.

Peter Lake (left), chair of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and Brad Jones, interim president and CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, provided an update on state regulators' electric grid redesign efforts in Austin on July 22. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Regulators: Texas electric grid prepared for potentially record-breaking demand next week; 'once-in-a-generation reforms' underway

The heads of the agencies in charge of the Texas electric grid met in Austin on July 22 to provide updates on their grid reform efforts.

Premier Martial Arts Leander opened June 19. (Courtesy Premier Martial Arts)
4 new businesses in Cedar Park, Leander

Premier Martial Arts Leander opened June 19. The family-owned business offers programs for children and adults.

The city of Leander will rehabilitate several roads including a section of Hero Way West, a section of Crystal Falls Parkway and in several subdivisions. (Map courtesy city of Leander)
Rehabilitation projects start on several Leander roads

Road work began July 21 in the Mason Creek subdivision.

WCCHD vaccination drive
Outside consultants to review programs, performance of Williamson County’s health district

The firm will review services and programs offered by the Williamson County and Cities Health District as well as the performance of different departments.

Leander ISD board members will continue talks of a future bond election at their July 22 meeting. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Leander school board to continue future bond discussions

District administration will answer questions and provide information to board of trustees's questions from the July 6 special-called meeting.

Travis County has been discussing the possibility of a new Samsung facility with Samsung since January. (Community Impact Staff)
Travis County begins incentives negotiations with Samsung for possible $17B facility

Samsung is hoping to finalize a performance agreement by mid-August, which would include information about how the potential facility would affect property taxes.

Massey Wallace and her husband, Allen Wallace, will open a seventh location of Lonestar Kolaches at the former Little Red Wagon in October. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lonestar Kolaches coming to Round Rock; Kilwins sweet shop to open in Georgetown and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area, such as the Williamson County judge doubting more shutdowns as coronavirus rates increase.

Leander Marketplace PUD would be located at the northeast corner of Hero Way and US 183. (Screenshot courtesy city of Leander)
ROUNDUP: 6 recent development updates in Leander

Take a look at these six developments planned in Leander.

Williamson County courthouse
Williamson County judge: It is ‘not the plan’ to return to COVID-19 lockdowns

Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell at a July 20 public meeting said he has no plans to implement restrictions to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. According to the WCCHD coronavirus dashboard, the rate of new infections across Williamson County doubled from July 11-18.

The Capital Metro board of directors discussed the fiscal year 2021-22 budget during a meeting July 19. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
With $319M budget proposal, Capital Metro optimistic ridership will rebound

The proposal also provided details on the capital budget, including the electric bus fleet and bus station improvements.