Cy-Fair ISD is facing an estimated $68 million in budget cuts to reduce a projected $138.6 million shortfall in the fiscal year 2024-25 budget, Chief Financial Officer Karen Smith said during the April 1 board work session.

Smith said about 47% of the FY 2023-24 shortfall will be offset by the remaining federal COVID-19 relief funds.

"Depending on the number of vacant positions, interest rates and the results of [the] district appealing state values with the comptroller, the district should come close to balancing the budget in 2023-24," she said. "However, since federal stimulus funds will not be available to offset the deficit in 2024-25, we could potentially realize [a] $138 million deficit."

What happened

Smith cited these factors that contributed to the projected shortfall:
  • Texas has not increased the basic allotment of $6,160 in state funding per student since 2019.
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the economy, the district has experienced record inflation.
  • The district's average daily attendance is down 2% compared to prepandemic levels, which accounts for a loss of $15 million in state funding.
  • The operating costs, including staffing, of new schools in the district impacts the operating funds.
  • Salary increases paid to staff to help offset the inflationary increases have also increased the budget.
The approach

Anticipating the shortfall once federal stimulus funds run out, CFISD has maintained approximately six months of expenses in its fund balance, Smith said, which is above the state recommendation of four months.

Smith said the administration hopes the state will provide relief through increased funding during the next legislative session, which begins in January.

Chief of Staff Teresa Hull said a 66-member budget reduction advisory committee is made up of teachers, principals, parents and administrators.

In response to Superintendent Doug Killian’s request for feedback from the community in his Feb. 27 posting on the CFISD website, the district received over 1,500 responses, Hull said.

That feedback and input from the committee is assisting the district in its decision-making regarding upcoming budget cuts. Committee findings will be presented to the board April 22.