Montgomery ISD is still projecting a $4.3 million shortfall for fiscal year 2024-25 as the board gets closer to budget approval.

What’s happening

During a special meeting June 4, Chief Financial Officer Ben Davidson presented a list of proposed budget additions and reductions that includes:
  • $1.1 million for new special education positions
  • $780,000 in added expenses for the opening of Creekside Elementary
  • $660,079 for the 1% salary increase approved May 7
  • $804,000 in cuts to expenses, including dissolving five elementary campus positions and trimming transportation expenditures
In a May 9 email, MISD officials said the district’s budget challenges are a result of the lack of state action on public school funding, Community Impact previously reported.

What else?

Davidson said the three main ways to reduce a shortfall would include a voter-approval tax rate election, or VATRE; state aid; or budget cuts that could include personnel.

“Personnel-wise, we are thin,” Superintendent Mark Ruffin said. “Where we would have to have some really hard conversations are the things we do because the district has made it a priority but that we’re probably not legally obligated to do.”

Ruffin mentioned librarians, who are classified as certified teachers in the district, and the fact that all schools have licensed registered nurses as examples. No decisions have been made regarding personnel cuts, but trustees did discuss cutting those positions in half.

Additionally, at the May 7 meeting, trustees authorized district leaders to order an efficiency audit in relation to a potential VATRE that would be held in November if called, according to prior reporting.

Quote of note

“I look at the fact that in the last three years, we’re going to be over $8 million that we’ve had to pull out [of our fund balance], and that’s not sustainable,” trustee Eddie Winn said.

What’s next

MISD trustees are set to approve the FY 2024-25 budget during their June 25 meeting.