Clear Creek ISD officials are facing multiple challenges regarding the district’s budget and sought resolutions ahead of fiscal year 2024-25 at the March 4 workshop meeting.

What you need to know

Going into FY 2024-25, the district is projected to have about $13 million more in expenses than revenue and is looking at ways to close that gap, according to budget documents.

One of the main challenges CCISD is facing is the decline of student enrollment. Since 2020, the district has declined in enrollment by more than 2,200 students. An additional loss of 1,700 students over the next five years is expected as well, according to district documents.

The state of Texas’s basic allotment per student in attendance is $6,160, which has remained the same since 2019. As a result, losing students results in less legislative funding, which has created budgetary challenges, according to district documents.

With the next legislative session not taking place until 2025, it will be at least another year until the state could increase the student allotment or provide other public school funding, according to district documents.

Along with lower enrollment numbers, CCISD will have to provide more funding due to the growth of students in the special education and bilingual programs, calling for more staffing for these programs throughout the district.

There has also been an increase in economically disadvantaged students within the district, according to district documents.
A closer look

To navigate through these challenges, CCISD has reduced staffing for the past two years, totaling over $8 million in savings, according to district documents.

CCISD has also been able to bring in about $18 million after the voter-approval tax rate election, or VATRE, passed in November.

Lastly, CCISD has been utilizing capital and contingency funds to support the general fund deficits, totaling more than $14 million in the past two years, according to district documents.

Other things, such as inflation and the ending of relief money that came as a result from the COVID-19 pandemic, are creating challenges too, according to district documents.

What’s next

CCISD is working with a strategic budget sprint team to resolve the budget challenges. CCISD officials recommend saving $5 million throughout FY 2024-25, according to district documents.

To save $5 million, the district will have to take $7.4 million from the capital and contingency funds, according to district documents.

Officials expect to pass the FY 2024-25 budget at the district board’s August meeting and adopt the new tax rate in September, according to district documents.

Quote of note

“We are getting a lot of interest in [prekindergarten programs], and we’ll continue to pursue that,” Superintendent Karen Engle said at the March 4 workshop. “Right now, it’s more on programs and human capital, and [looking at] what have we added in 10 years. We have some exciting things to really focus on marketing in this coming year. [We’ve spent] hours and hours of reflection, and reviewing every department. Everybody in the cabinet has done an outstanding job of looking at their particular areas and any efficiencies that we can capture. Some of that is going into the $5 million reduction that we’re trying to capture.”