Carroll ISD increased its student-teacher ratios across all elementary and high schools as officials look for revenue streams amid enrollment decline and budget shortfalls stemming from stagnant state funding.

Higher ratios mean each teacher will serve more students, but the actual classroom size could differ, and principals have the final say in determining that, Assistant Superintendent for Administration Tamy Smalskas said. The district plans to trim the staff through attrition by not filling positions as people retire or leave, Smalskas said.

The CISD board of trustees approved the increase at a March 25 meeting.

The details

The fiscal year 2023-24 budget shortfall was nearly $5.2 million, according to district documents. This could increase over the next four years culminating in an almost $15.5 million shortfall by FY 2026-27.

Adjusting the ratios would save the district $1.6 million over the 2024-25 school year, Smalskas said.

CISD officials recommended leaving the intermediate and middle school ratios alone since it made significant cuts to the campuses last year, Smalskas said. The new student to teacher ratios for affected grade levels include:
  • Elementary school: 22:1
  • High school: 28:1
In previous years, the district operated with an elementary student-to-teacher ratio of 20 or fewer to one, and between 25 and 26 to one at the high school level, Smalskas said. At the new ratios, the district would have about 10 fewer elementary staff and 13 fewer high school staff. Smalskas said human resources staff in surrounding districts are reporting ratios that mirror those proposed by the district.

Looking ahead

The adjustment will only affect the 2024-25 school year, board President Cameron Bryan said. If there are future changes in the budget, the district will be able to reassess and adjust ratios again.