The Conroe ISD board of trustees heard a preliminary discussion on the fiscal year 2024-25 budget during a board workshop Feb. 6, including the potential for a $16.62 million shortfall.

The overview

Chief Financial Officer Darrin Rice and Director of Finance Karen Garza gave an update on the FY 2023-24 budget and a preliminary forecast for the FY 2024-25 budget, which they said could include a $16.62 million shortfall.

Preliminary numbers show the district’s expenditures are expected to be approximately $710.5 million while estimated revenue is only expected to bring in $693.88 million.

The potential $16.62 million shortfall could be created by an increase in expenditures for items such as additional personnel, a teacher pay raise and teacher incentives, they said.

Breaking it down

The $16.62 million includes, among other expenses:
  • $7.5 million for additional personnel for growth in FY 2024-25
  • $1.6 million for a raise or teacher hiring schedule
  • $1.3 million for the virtual academy
  • $1 million for teacher incentive allotments
  • $3.05 million for other expenses, including utilities, fuel and insurance
  • $1.75 million in Teacher Retirement System in-kind contributions
Looking ahead

Some preliminary budget assumptions the district made for FY 2024-25 include potential numbers for enrollment, property value and the tax rate.
  • Student enrollment growth of 1,550 students for a total of 74,000
  • Average daily attendance percentage of 92.5%
  • Certified property value growth of 5.75%
  • Tax rate of $0.9621 per $100 valuation
Garza said the tax rate is predicted to be a flat rate with no change, although she said a higher percentage in the certified property value could result in a lower tax rate.

More details

The presentation also included possible teacher raise scenarios for FY 2024-25. However, CISD Superintendent Curtis Null said there is no funding in place to provide raises in the new year.
  • Scenario 1: teacher hiring schedule changes for a cost of $1.6 million
  • Scenario 2: 1% percent raise for a cost of $6.5 million
  • Scenario 3: 2% percent raise for a cost of $13 million
  • Scenario 4: 2.5% raise for a cost of $16.25 million
The district passed a 2.5% employee pay raise in November that cost the district $14.6 million in FY 2023-24 and will cost the same amount in FY 2024-25. These funds are coming from the district's savings account as the 88th Texas Legislature failed to provide district funding for teacher raises, Null said.

In other news

Rice announced he will retire at the end of the 2023-24 school year. He has served as CISD’s chief financial officer for nine years.