Lake Travis ISD budget amendments reflect staff increases to meet 29% growth in special education population

The board of trustees discussed population increased and open staff positions within the special education department. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
The board of trustees discussed population increased and open staff positions within the special education department. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)

The board of trustees discussed population increased and open staff positions within the special education department. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)

The population of special education students within Lake Travis ISD has grown at a faster rate than the district anticipated. LTISD budgeted instructional allocations based on a projected 12% growth in enrollment; however, based on current enrollment data the district will require additional staff.



LTISD has seen a 29% increase, or 81 new students, from the 2018-19 school year, compared to a 3.6% increase in overall district enrollment. As a result, the board of trustees approved an additional seven full-time equivalent positions during the Nov. 20 board meeting to accommodate the needs of the department.



The majority of the 81 students are the result of new families moving into the district with already identified special education children, according to Laura Abott, LTISD's director of special services.



Since May the district has hired 21 aides and 15 special education teachers, said Evalene Murphy, the assistant superintendent for human resource services.



The additional full-time-equivalent positions will result in a total budget amendment of $430,000 for additional staff and $109,000 for contracting services, according to Johnny Hill, the assistant superintendent for business, financial and auxiliary services.



Later in the meeting, the board also approved a request to increase the pay of special eduction substitutes presented by Murphy. Certified and uncertified special education subs in LTISD will see a $10-per-day increase. Murphy said this is due to competitive rates within neighboring districts.



The district also discussed the department’s existing vacancies for the current school year. Currently, LTISD has three open special education teacher positions and nine aide vacancies. Murphy said filling those vacancies has been difficult, calling the subject a current nationwide issue.



Two parents and one special education aide approached the board during the Nov. 20 meeting to share their concerns regarding the department.



Mary Kuse, a Bee Cave Elementary School aide with the district, approached the board for the third time during public comments asking for a raise for special education aides.



“I think we’re having a problem with the recruitment, the retention and the respect of the special ed aides,” Kuse said, adding the compensation rates could not be considered competitive when compared to the cost of living in the area and the availability of other jobs. "I know the administrations think that the rate of pay for teachers and support staff is competitive with other districts, but it’s not that competitive when compared to the cost of living in the area and other available jobs."

SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

The Hyatt Place hotel in the Four Points area should be complete by April, according to the owner. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hyatt in Four Points area slightly delayed, expected to begin booking rooms by May

On Dec. 6, Karedia said that due to some normal delays in construction, the timeline has been stretched slightly.

Byron Smith, left, and Tim Manson are planning to break ground on their new storage business called XSpace in late January. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Australian businessmen betting on success of innovative storage model in western Travis County

A primary difference between their model and more traditional storage models, they say, is the fact that their units are for sale and not for rent. But there are other differences.

Local boutique Royal Monkey will relocate to a new location April 9. (Kara Nuzback/Community Impact Newspaper)
Royal Monkey set to relocate inside Tex-Mex restaurant Tio Loco

Boutique, Royal Monkey is set to open in a new location April 9.

The Microtel Inn and Suites is located in Southeast Austin, only a 4.5-mile drive from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. (COURTESY GOOGLE MAPS)
City Council eyes $6.8 million purchase of 71-room hotel in Southeast Austin for second homeless shelter conversion

The Microtel Inn and Suites is a 4.5 mile drive from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Following allegations that an assistant chief used racist and homophobic language, the Austin Police Department may have to suspend future cadet classes. Austin City Council supported an investigation into the department at a Dec. 5 meeting. (Courtesy Austin Police Department)
Austin City Council supports expansive investigation into police department culture and training, likely suspends one future cadet class

The move follows allegations that a former high-ranking officers regularly used racial slurs throughout his career with no recourse from department leaders.

Residents in District 10 look over proposed zoning map during a meeting in October. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
City Council will hear thoughts from residents on comprehensive revision to land use rules at weekend hearing

City Council will take its first of three votes on the land development code revision Dec. 9.

Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty in May addressed constituents in Bee Cave regarding the $23 million Bee Creek Sports Complex. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Longtime Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty will not seek re-election following end of current term

Daugherty has served western Travis County for the last 14 years, with terms from 2002-2008 and 2013 to the present.

The city of Austin authorized the purchase of a Rodeway Inn at 2711 S. I-35 on Nov. 14. The city plans to convert the property into a homeless shelter. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
City staff must be more transparent as city moves toward motel shelter strategy, Austin City Council says

Austin City Council is preparing to purchase another motel for conversion into a homeless shelter, but urged staff to be more transparent as motels are chosen.

Austin Gastroenterology will see the addition of a HyGleaCare, endoscopy and infusion center. (Courtesy Austin Gastroenterology)
Austin Gastroenterology announces the addition of a new center

Austin Gastroenterology announced a project to open a third HyGleaCare Center in spring 2020

Travis County commissioners received their sixth update on the 2017-22 bond program at a Dec. 3 meeting. (Emma Freer/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis County 2017-22 bond program remains on track thanks to innovations

Fifty-six of the 60 projects included in the five-year bond program Travis County voters approved in 2017 are in active development, according to a Dec. 3 presentation made to the Commissioners Court.

On Dec. 3, Westbank Dental celebrated its reopening under new ownership.
Westbank Dental reopens under new ownership

Westlake dentist office Westbank Dental welcomes new owners Dec. 3

Courtesy Frog & the Bull
Iberian restaurant Frog & the Bull now open in Four Points area

The restaurant features Iberian cuisine, which owner David Fernandez labeled “the most diversified cuisine on the face of the planet."

Back to top