With budget season quickly approaching, the Hays CISD board of trustees and staff are laying down the groundwork before their first budget workshop April 26.
For the 2018-19 fiscal year, HCISD will implement a zero-based budgeting methodology to facilitate discussion and analysis of costs by department and program. Zero-based means the district must justify every expense it wants to spend by analyzing its need and cost.
Superintendent Eric Wright and his team will evaluate staff and programs within the district and work with the staff to establish with is best for HCISD school’s while addressing budget priorities of student achievement, opening Uhland Elementary School, funding a 3 percent compensation increase and maintaining a 22:1 class size ratio in kindergarten through fourth grade.
HCISD expects a 264-student increase for the 2018-19 school year bringing the total number of students to 20,164.
The budget workshop will be 5:30 p.m. on Thursday at Hays High School.
Preparing for future budget seasons, the board of trustees discussed changing the fiscal year start date from Sept. 1 to July 1 for 2019-20, during the trustees’ regular meeting on Monday. With this change there will be an additional two months added to the fiscal year, which according to Chief Financial Officer Annette Folmar would allow campuses and departments to more effectively manage their finances and to match the operating year with the fiscal year.
However, she stated there were cons to changing the budget start year such as property values are not certified before adoption of the budget, and there may be a possible one-time increase in audit fees during the year of implementation.
If the trustees approve the change during their May meeting, HCISD will be required to notify Region 13 and the Texas Education Agency by June 30, 2018.