This article has been updated to include comment from the superintendent.
Montgomery ISD discussed an impending deficit of $6.9 million expected for the 2018-19 school year at the district’s board meeting Tuesday, June 19.
MISD officials said the current proposed budget for the 2018-19 school year projects a deficit of about $2.9 million in operation costs along with $4 million in recapture funds to the state, for a total deficit of about $6.9 million.
District officials said the deficit is due to the $4 million recapture payment, a cut in state funding for New Instructional Facilities Allotment down from $1,000 per student to $200, additional staffing for student enrollment growth, opening two new campuses and a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment for all employees as well as operational cost increases in security, transportation, custodial and utility departments.
“Based on current budget projections, if there are no changes to the state of Texas school finance system in the 2019 legislative session…Montgomery ISD will be forced to alter our current staffing patterns, and layoffs would be possible for the 2019-20 school year,” Superintendent Beau Rees said.
To project the 2018-19 budget, the district assumed the following:
• Enrollment is projected to increase by 4 percent to 9,175 during the 2018-19 school year.
• Attendance is expected to increase by 1.25 percent to 96.25 percent.
• Property values are expected to increase by 6 percent.
• The tax rate is not expected to increase.
To balance the budget and make up the nearly $7 million deficit, MISD is planning to:
• Use Limited Open Enrollment to increase the number of students.
• Change the budget fiscal year to July 1 through June 30.
• Reduce all campus and departmental budgets by 20 percent.
• Make additional reductions in maintenance and technology budgets.
• Reduce transportation routes and eliminate the district’s employee shuttle program.
• Reduce non-classroom campus-level positions including four librarians and instructional paraprofessional positions.
• Eliminate secondary coaching positions.
• Eliminate administration positions, including assistant principals and counseling positions.
• Postpone the implementation of new programs and curriculum.
A special meeting budget workshop is scheduled for Aug. 7 to review the budget and set the date, time and place for a public hearing on the budget and tax rate. Superintendent Beau Rees is scheduled to present the finalized 2018-19 budget for approval at the Aug. 21 regular meeting.