Katy ISD budget includes pay raises, increased expenses for growth

Though Katy ISD’s budget has broken the $800 million threshold for the first time, the district is expected to receive over $36 million less in funding from the state as compared to last year, according to Chris Smith, KISD’s chief financial officer.


KISD’s projected total expenditures—which include the district’s general fund, special revenue fund and debt service fund—are up roughly 2 percent from the fiscal year 2015-16 final amended budget and tally $804,780,693.


Katy ISD budget includes pay raises, increased expenses for growthThe KISD board of trustees unanimously approved the district’s proposed FY 2016-17 official budget at its Aug. 23 meeting.


“Katy ISD’s been very diligent with taxpayer’s money,” said KISD Superintendent Lance Hindt. “We’re utilizing every penny on behalf of our kids.”


With three new campuses—Bethke and Jenks elementary schools and Tays Junior High School—added to the district, the budget assumes a student enrollment increase of 2.9 percent, up to 75,744 students.


The budget also includes a 1 percent employee salary increase plus a one-time lump sum payment of an additional 1 percent that will be distributed mid-year.


Rebecca Fox, president of the KISD board of trustees, said board members had hoped they could have implemented a larger employee pay raise. However, she is satisfied the district was able to provide a positive adjustment to employees’ base salaries.


KISD is projected to spend roughly 88 percent of general fund expenditures, totaling $631,409,405, on payroll costs


Many districts around the state are not building salary increases into their respective budgets because they are worried that they will not be able to sustain such expenditures, she said.


“We want to do more for teachers; we always want to give a bigger raise,” she said. “But every 1 percent is $4.5 million of recurring cost to the budget.”


KISD has projected a property value increase of 8.6 percent, up to a total of nearly $36 billion and has kept the tax rate at $1.5166 per $100 valuation—which includes $1.1266 for maintenance and operations and $0.39 for debt services. The debt services rate was lowered 1 cent in the FY 2015-16 budget after staying at $0.40 for several years.


Smith said there were two major challenges with formulating the FY 2016-17 budget. They were the fixed costs associated with the three new schools and state funding formulas that will, in essence, take money away from the district due to property values not increasing by as much as they have in recent years, he said.


Although KISD’s local revenue continues to grow on a annual basis, this year’s projected 8.6 percent property value increase is significantly down from the decade-high of a nearly 18 percent increase in FY 2014-15, Smith said.


The state is expected to contribute $225,366,274 in funding to KISD, a number that is down from last year’s final amended budget amount of $261,786,230.


KISD funding from the federal government is projected to remain virtually unchanged at roughly $23 million.


Despite these and other obstacles, Smith said he is pleased with how the district has financially prepared for the 2016-17 school year and how the corresponding budget has turned out.


“What we think we’ve done is present a good budget,” he said. “It’s a budget that we think will support the vision of being the legacy.”



MOST RECENT

A total of 196 awards were presented to winning brewers, designers and marketing agencies from around the world. (Courtesy No Label Brewing Co.)
No Label Brewing Co. recognized in international contest for pandemic efforts

No Label Brewing Co. in Katy took home two awards during the international Craft Beer Marketing Awards for its COVID-19 face mask design and charity promotions during the pandemic.

Uni Uni, a bubble tea shop, is opening at 6711 S. Fry Road, Unit 110, Katy. (Courtesy Uni Uni)
New bubble tea shop opening soon in Katy

Uni Uni’s menu includes a wide variety of fresh fruit teas, fruit teas with cheese foam, classic milk teas, flavored yogurt with boba and smoothies.

The builder also recently opened its newest showcase model in the development, which features 60-foot homesites. (Courtesy Cane Island)
David Weekley Homes announces six new plans for Cane Island homesites

The builder also recently opened its newest showcase model in the development, which features 60-foot homesites.

Venues across Katy will have firework shows throughout the Independence Day weekend, including the city's Katy Freedom Celebration. (courtesy city of Katy)
Events in Katy happening Fourth of July weekend

Venues across Katy will have firework shows throughout the Independence Day weekend, including the city's Katy Freedom Celebration.

Despite a challenging school year, Katy ISD volunteers were determined to stay connected, reimagine programs and support the teachers, administrators and students across the district. (Courtesy Pexels)
Katy ISD volunteer community recognizes ongoing support during challenging year

More than $80,000 for Katy ISD families was raised during the 2020-21 school year through the Food for Families program run by KISD Partners in Education—the most ever raised in a single year.

Winter Storm Uri, which blew through Texas in February, left millions of Texas residents in the dark amid freezing temperatures. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Rep. Ron Reynolds calls for special legislative session to include additional response to winter storm

Though progress was made during the 87th Texas Legislative Session to help Texas better handle extreme weather disasters in the future, there is more work to be done, State Rep. Ron Reynolds, D-Missouri City, said June 23.

The Kinder Institute for Urban Research released its 2021 State of Housing for Harris County and Houston report on June 22. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
Kinder Institute 2021 State of Housing report highlights rental squeeze for lower, middle-income households

As of 2019, one in every 11 renters in Harris County had an eviction notice posted to their door; one in every 25 renter households were also evicted.

The craft beer industry is growing in the Greater Houston area. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Greater Houston area's craft brewery count grows 344% since 2013

According to NAI Partners, the Greater Houston area has 71 craft breweries.

The Barker Reservoir watershed encompasses the area that drains into Barker Reservoir. This reservoir, together with Addicks Reservoir, was created as part of a federal project to control flooding on Buffalo Bayou and protect downtown Houston. (Courtesy Harris County Flood Control District)
FEMA awards $9.8M to Harris County Flood Control District to restore Barker Reservoir watershed

The funding is aimed at restoring water channels, including Mason Creek and Upper Buffalo Bayou, to pre-Hurricane Harvey levels of conveyance by removing sand and sediment buildup caused by the storm, officials said.

Snappy's Cafe & Grill is open for breakfast and lunch. It serves a variety of American staples, such as sandwiches and omelets. (Community Impact/Laura Aebi)
Snappy's Cafe & Grill in Katy gets new owner

The first time Anna Liu stepped foot into Katy’s Snappy’s Cafe & Grill last winter, she said she had a good feeling. The Houston resident took over ownership of the diner June 1.

Counties can use the American Rescue Plan Act funds for several purposes, including responding to the public health emergency and its negative economic effects by providing assistance to households, small businesses, nonprofits or industries hit particularly hard by the pandemic. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Fort Bend County leaders talk American Rescue Plan Act funding

Fort Bend County commissioners on June 22 approved an amended budget for $157.42 million in American Rescue Plan Act coronavirus relief funds, despite some disagreement from the court.