Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify language related to enrollment projections factored into the budget.

Georgetown ISD is working to balance a stagnation in state funding with increased costs of operation as district administration continues efforts to prepare its budget for fiscal year 2024-25.

What you need to know

In an update that came during the May 6 board workshop, district administrators painted a picture of how the budget may be impacted by some larger issues in the financial climate of public education.

Superintendent Devin Padavil said one main point of concern is the lack of increase to the basic allotment, the per-student funding amount received by Texas school districts, since 2019.

This per-student funding has remained at $6,160 per student—before any additional funding for participation in career and technical education, special education or other funds provided for designated statuses—since 2019.

If the basic allotment were adjusted for inflation, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this amount would be over $7,160 per student. Padavil said this adjustment would result in about $12.6 million in additional revenue to its budget, were legislators to make it.

"If you do the math here, that would close the deficit; that would give us the budget to increase compensation for our staff to keep up with the cost of living just by itself," Padavil said.

Without an increase to the basic allotment, district administrators said they are working to find efficiencies in the budget to allow for a small compensation increase as well as to reduce the projected $4.95 million shortfall.

The specifics

Padavil and GISD Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Hanna shared that the district has identified the following areas for cuts:
  • Increasing class size at high schools and middle schools
  • Reducing central office and support positions throughout the district
  • Decreasing departmental budgets throughout the district
Increasing attendance to increase basic allotment funding was also established as a high priority by administrators. Padavil and Hanna shared that if the district were to enroll 100 additional students, it could increase revenue by about $848,000. Demographers predicted next year's enrollment would increase by about 500 students, and the district is projecting below that number to create a conservative budget..

Hanna said her staff is still working to identify additional efficiencies in the district's budget, which may include efficiencies in staffing.

Hanna shared that the district is also considering a variety of options to improve compensation and will propose a final version of the compensation plan for FY 2024-25 at the May 20 board meeting.

Recommendations under consideration include:
  • 3.5% pay increases for teachers and librarians, with 2% increases at the midpoint for other staffing groups
  • Stipends for high needs special education positions
  • Raising minimum pay for hourly employees to $16 per hour for instructional aides and $15.50 for all other positions
What's next?

Administrators are expected to present an official budget proposal for FY 2024-25 to the board of trustees in June.