Plano ISD to face operating budget deficit in 2019-20 academic year despite new state funding formulas

Plano ISD officials discussed the district's 2019-20 budget at a June 25 meeting.

Plano ISD officials discussed the district's 2019-20 budget at a June 25 meeting.

Plano ISD officials project the district will face a deficit in its operating budget for the 2019-20 school year despite recent sweeping changes to the state’s public school funding formulas.

Under the state’s previous funding formulas, the district projected a $33.6 million operating budget shortfall for the 2019-20 school year. After Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 3 into law on June 11, the district now projects it will face an $18 million shortfall.

Among a slew of provisions, House Bill 3 includes new money for teacher raises and full day pre-kindergarten, as well as the compression of school districts’ property tax rates.

PISD Chief Financial Officer Randy McDowell said the district did not benefit from House Bill 3 as much as others in the state.

"When you put all the money in the pot and reshuffle it, districts like us didn’t fare very well,” McDowell said at a June 25 board meeting.

Superintendent Sara Bonser said the district committed to providing increases to employee compensations and benefits packages beyond what is mandated in House Bill 3.

“The result [of HB3] is that there was a lot more money put into public education in the state of Texas,” Bonser said. “But when the formulas come out, the impact on Plano ISD, as you see, is about an $18 million difference for us, and half of that is going to employee compensation and benefits.”

Along with the 2019-20 budget, the board of trustees approved the district’s new compensation package at the June 25 meeting. The package includes a 2.5% pay increase for teachers, nurses, counselors and librarians with less than six years of experience. Individuals in the same cohort with six or more years of experience will receive a 3% pay increase.

Starting salaries for new teachers with no experience are now $54,000 for those with bachelor's degrees and $56,000 for those with master's degrees.

Because the budget was initially calculated using the state’s previous funding formulas, the district will amend its budget with the updated figures in the coming months, McDowell said.

PISD projects it will send $171.5 million to the state in the form of recapture payments in 2019-20. Recapture, also referred to as Robin Hood, is a finance tool in which the state redistributes tax revenue from property-wealthy school districts to property-poor school districts. The district would have sent an estimated $255.1 million in recapture payments under the previous funding formulas.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated salary rates for new employees. In fact, the new rates only apply to new teachers.
By Gavin Pugh
Gavin has reported for Community Impact Newspaper since June 2017. His beat has included Dallas Area Rapid Transit, public and higher education, school and municipal governments and more. He now serves as the editor of the Grapevine, Colleyville, Southlake edition.


MOST RECENT

The changes to the plans for Beacon Square were voted down, including nine additional live-work units, which can be used for commercial or residential uses. (Rendering from city of Plano presentation)
City of Plano rejects plan for reduced retail at Beacon Square development

The rejected changes included additional live-work units in place of some of the retail stores that had been featured in the original plans.

An extensive project to repair pavement and sidewalk on Jupiter Road continues as crews prepare to move to a new stretch of road. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Jupiter Road crews in Plano continue work on north- and southbound lanes

The project will eventually stretch from 14th Street to the northern city limits.

Richardson Bike Mart has about 11,000 bicycles on back order. (File photo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Richardson shop has 11,000 bicycles on back order and more DFW news

Read the latest Dallas-Fort Worth business and community news.

In all, 180 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the past seven days—down from the 211 confirmed the week before—as 91 additional people were marked as recovered from the virus. (Community Impact staff)
Tracking COVID-19 in Plano: Number of active cases grows by 22% in first week of August as area hospitalizations continue their decline

Two new Plano coronavirus deaths reported in the last week brought the city's confirmed total to 22 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Thirteen drive-thru grocery stores operated by the Salvation Army of North Texas are offering backpacks filled with supplies. (Courtesy Salvation Army)
Salvation Army expands North Texas grocery service locations to include school supplies, protective equipment

Backpacks filled with school supplies, personal protective equipment, financial assistance resources and U.S. Census forms will be available at the 13 existing locations.

Cottonwood Creek Trail features platforms for viewing wildlife and fishing in Cottonwood Creek. (Courtesy Visit Frisco)
Trails system in Frisco expands and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the DFW area.

Rapid nasal swab antigen tests are recommended as options for individuals who were potentially exposed to a confirmed positive carrier, as well as for people traveling, returning to work or undergoing a medical procedure. (Courtesy Total Primary Care)
Find out where to get a 15-minute COVID-19 test in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth metros

Rapid nasal swab antigen tests are recommended as options for individuals who were potentially exposed to a confirmed positive carrier, as well as for people traveling, returning to work or undergoing a medical procedure.

A mother and daughter visit at Seasons Assisted Living & Memory Care in Conroe earlier in the pandemic. (Courtesy Seasons Assisted Living & Memory Care)
Texas allows limited visitations to nursing homes, long-term care facilities

Facilities that meet the requirements will allow limited visitations, but you still will not be able to hug or kiss your loved one.

Mallow Box's first location opened at The Shops at Willow Bend. (Courtesy Legacy Hall)
Mallow Box to open second location at Plano's Legacy Hall

The gourmet marshmallow dessert stall will offer s’mores, skewers, toasts, bowls and specialty shakes.

SweetStop bakery holds grand opening in Richardson and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Among other things, the Plano Tomorrow plan guided the city's zoning decisions on the remaining tracts of undeveloped land. (Gavin Pugh/Community Impact Newspaper)
City repeals Plano Tomorrow plan after years of contentious debate on apartments

The city of Plano has repealed the Plano Tomorrow comprehensive development plan, the result of nearly a half decade of political and legal conflict over the document's provisions on development and density.