Dripping Springs ISD presents on growth, debt ahead of regular board meeting

A photo of the Dripping Springs ISD board of trustees
The Dripping Springs ISD board of trustees met for an agenda review Feb. 17. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Dripping Springs ISD board of trustees met for an agenda review Feb. 17. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)

At the Dripping Springs ISD Feb. 17 agenda review meeting, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Scott Drillette gave a presentation on the district’s bond debt, which is valued at $179,094,999, or $27,767 per student. Drillette’s debt report was supported by the most recent available statewide data from the Texas Education Agency, which is from 2018.

DSISD’s 2018 debt ranks 107th among Texas districts. Drillette stressed, however, that DSISD should be compared to similar-sized fast-growth districts that also have made significant financial investments to keep up with an influx of students. Compared to the rest of the 30 fastest-growth Texas school districts with over 2,000 students, DSISD has the 14th highest debt.

DSISD is currently ranked the 45th fastest-growth district among all Texas school districts. According to TEA data, DSISD’s enrollment grew by 56.3% during the five-year period leading up to the 2017-18 school year, compared to the 13.1% increase in Texas public school enrollment overall.

Drillette said the district’s ability to pay debt was the most important factor when considering the amount owed by the DSISD.

“We really have no concerns or issues with our current ability to pay debt,” Drillette said.

Drillette also presented proposed parameters for the district’s 2020-21 fiscal year budget, including a student enrollment estimate of 7,696 for staffing purposes and 7,542 for funding, and an average daily attendance rate of 95%. Attendance affects the state funding allotted to a district. Other proposed parameters include a 10% increase in local property values and a 2% employee cost-of-living increase.

Superintendent Todd Washburn and the board agreed that ideally a budget workshop should be held before a vote was taken on the proposed parameters.

While no action is scheduled on the parameters at the board’s upcoming Feb. 24 meeting, Drillette will present a budget planning calendar to the board, which features a proposed June 22 approval date for the 2020-21 budget.
By Olivia Aldridge

Reporter, Central Austin

Olivia joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in March 2019. She covers public health, business, development and Travis County government. A graduate of Presbyterian College in South Carolina, Olivia worked as a reporter and producer for South Carolina Public Radio before moving to Texas. Her work has appeared on NPR and in the New York Times.


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