In a unanimous vote by trustees at their June 22 meeting, DSISD’s general fund expenditures were set at $67.45 million, with nearly $67.46 million in revenue, for a small surplus. Budgeting figures were based on an assumed enrollment of 7,696 students, and funding estimates were based on Texas House Bill 3, according to Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations Scott Drillette, and accounts for 40 added full-time positions.
The approved budget also assumes the adoption of a compressed tax rate for the upcoming tax year, with a maximum expected rate of $1.4047 per $100 of valuation, including an maintenance and operating tax rate of $1.0547 and an interest and sinking tax rate of $0.35. The tax rate will not officially be adopted until after Aug. 5.
The board also passed a compensation plan for district staff that includes a 2% average salary increase for teachers—less of an increase than was offered for the 2019-20 fiscal year, when most employees received a 4% raise.
At a meeting in May, Drillette previewed this difference in raises, attributing the district’s conservatism on the issue to ongoing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic and related financial losses and risks.
“We would love to give more, but we also have to be aware of what’s coming,” Drillette said. “I think it’s a number that respects our employees and gives them a raise for next year, but it also respects the fact that we are going to have some financial challenges coming forward in the next few years as the state works through this pandemic crisis.”
However, the newly approved compensation plan does dangle the potential for a one-time lump sum payment to eligible employees during the upcoming year under certain circumstances. The district may issue lump sum bonuses of up to $1,000 if DSISD “experiences a significant financial surplus” for the year and if the payments do not put DSISD at risk of “financial hardship.”