On June 28, Montgomery ISD’s board of trustees unanimously approved the district’s fiscal year 2024-25 budget, which includes a shortfall of about $4.3 million.

The overview

MISD’s general fund shortfall for the FY 2024-25 budget stems from a $5.1 million increase to expenses, while revenue increased by only about $798,000, according to district leaders’ June 28 budget presentation.

“We're at a very critical juncture in public education funding to where it's not simply the lack of legislative action. ... it's this perfect storm that we've found ourselves in, and the challenge is a lot of this is just completely out of our control,” Superintendent Mark Ruffin said. “Adopting a deficit budget, though it is painful to do, I do think it is the most transparent thing we possibly do.”

Zooming in

According to June 28 meeting materials, the FY 2024-25 budget also includes:
  • $780,000 in added expenses for the opening of Creekside Elementary School
  • $1.1 million in increased expenses for new special education positions
  • $804,000 in cuts to expenditures, including the elimination of five elementary campus positions, trimming the substitute budget and trimming transportation expenditures
The context

MISD’s “budget challenges” are a result of the lack of funding increases made for public schools during the 88th legislative session, according to a May 9 email from district officials.

Public school leaders across the state called for an increase in public school funding ahead of the 88th legislative session in January 2023, Community Impact previously reported. The Texas Legislature wrapped up its fourth special session Dec. 5 without passing legislation that would provide raises for public school teachers and more money for school safety.

In case you missed it

On May 7, MISD trustees approved $650 teacher raises as well as a 1% salary increase—"from the midpoint of their pay grade”—for all other employees, according to the May 9 email. Trustees also authorized district leaders to order an efficiency audit in relation to a potential voter-approval tax rate election, or VATRE, ballot initiative that would be held in November if called.

Stay tuned

MISD’s board of trustees have not yet approved the district’s annual tax rate and typically do in August. This year’s total tax rate is $1.0487 per $100 valuation.