The Keller ISD board of trustees unanimously approved the fiscal year 2024-25 budget during its regular meeting June 20. The projected budget includes $340.66 million in revenue and $340.31 million in expenditures.

The details

During his presentation, Chief Operations Officer John Allison said the projected budget will include a $348,040 excess. It is in stark contrast to the $34.16 million deficit incurred in the FY 2023-24 budget.

Allison said the difference can be attributed to a roughly $42 million increase in the foundation school fund the state had to pay school districts due to the increase in the homestead exemption from $40,000 to $100,000.

“The state has to make up that difference,” Allison said. “They have to hold us harmless for the difference in that homestead exemption.”

According to district documents, the foundation school fund payment from the state in FY 2023-24 was $58.4 million. It is projected to be $100.51 million for FY 2024-25.

“The budget that we are proposing will be balanced, but I have to point out that $348,000 is 0.001% of our overall budget,” Allison said. “So while we’re glad to show somewhat of a surplus, that’s [the cost of] one AC chiller unit.”

A closer look

Place 1 trustee Micah Young pointed out that in previous budgets at the same point in the process where the board is now, they had projected balanced budgets, when in actuality, “they seem to explode” in terms of expenditures.

“What’s going to give us confidence moving forward next year that we’re going to be balanced?” Young asked.

In his response, Allison said he and his staff took a different approach to their revenue and expenditure projections.

“The key piece is we were very, very conservative with our revenue estimates,” Allison said.

In terms of expenditures, Allison highlighted the following increases for FY 2024-25:
  • 5.91% increase in transportation costs
  • 19.89% increase in facilities operation and management costs
  • 39.08% increase in security and monitoring services costs
  • 15.98% increase in data processing services costs
  • 20.57% increase in community services costs
Allison said one expense that showed a decrease of almost 13% was general administration, which is district administration and support.

“Throughout the budget process, we heard that we need to make reductions there,” Allison said. “That was the first place we looked to make reductions.”