CISD has approved a budget with no surplus or deficit projected. According to William Wooten, CISD assistant superintendent for financial services, this is a 4% decrease from the previous year’s initial budget—equating to $5.4 million—due to a decrease in the maintenance and operations tax rate.
“I can tell you, [Superintendent] Dr. [Lane] Ledbetter [made it clear] not to impact kids, not to impact classrooms, not to impact teachers, not to impact academics,” Wooten said.
Some adjustments were made to balance the budget, including staff travel, payroll and administration. However, Ledbetter said no compensation or staffed positions were cut. Instead, $1.3 million in salaries that was budgeted for open positions deemed noncritical was removed from the budget, and the unfilled positions were frozen to help mitigate costs.
“We went through every position multiple times and looked at, 'Is it necessary to have it right now?' or 'Is it necessary to have it the entire year?'” Ledbetter said.
The superintendent also explained as needs arrive throughout the year, the district will be able to come back to the board to discuss potential additional funding.
To further offset budgetary needs, the district has also used funds from the various Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund federal grant programs. From ESSER II, the district has pulled $400,000 to offset some payroll expenses. From ESSER III, $199,000 is being used to cover administrative costs, and $533,000 is being used from the ESSER Supplemental funds for payroll and campus operations, as well.
“It’s obvious that ESSER helped us get to a balanced budget, and ESSER won’t exist forever, so it kind of bought you some time ... to continue working on the budget for the future,” board Vice President Eric Lannen said.
Although the district was able to balance its budget for FY 2021-22, Carroll ISD is working on a cost-containment plan and looking at ways to increase its revenue stream in the future.
“We want to come out with a surplus because guess what? We're [going to] run out of bond money very soon, and we need to save up money for capital improvement projects in the future,” trustee Cameron Bryan said.
The board will be voting on a proposed total tax rate of $1.2586 per $100 in valuation at its Sept. 13 meeting.