Friendswood ISD board of trustees approves 2020-21 budget

There are about 6,200 students in Friendswood ISD. (Haley Morrison/Community Impact Newspaper)
There are about 6,200 students in Friendswood ISD. (Haley Morrison/Community Impact Newspaper)

There are about 6,200 students in Friendswood ISD. (Haley Morrison/Community Impact Newspaper)

Friendswood ISD’s board of trustees approved the district’s fiscal year 2020-21 budget for general funds, debt service and food service, which includes some pandemic-related expenditure increases, during an Aug. 24 workshop.

The three funding categories are expected to generate more than $68 million in total revenue, and projected expenditures total around $67 million, according to information presented at the workshop. A deficit of $215,000 is expected from the general fund, per board documents, and the more than $1 million in surplus comes from the debt service fund.

The debt service fund accounts for resources set aside to pay interest and principal on long-term debt, per board documents. The fund’s revenue budget is $9.8 million for FY 2020-21, an increase of $2.6 million over last year’s revenue due to the increase in the interest and sinking tax rate. FISD contracts with Aramark to manage the district’s food service operations, and that revenue budget for FY 2020-21 is $2.7 million, which is $50,000 more than last year due to an increase in a la carte item sales, per board documents.

Six additional clinic assistants and additional substitutes were hired due to the pandemic, per board documents.

Payroll costs account for 85% of the total general fund expenditures; they include pay for teachers, substitutes and other professional and support personnel. The board approved a conditional 1% one-time salary supplement for eligible employees. This expense, combined with COVID-19-related personnel and a limited number of new faculty and staff positions, accounts for the majority of increases in expenditures, according to board documents.

Revenue comes almost entirely from local and state sources, board documents show: Just 0.9% of the 2020-21 budget will be derived from federal sources.

On the ballot this November for FISD taxpayers will be a $128 million bond separated into two propositions; if approved by voters, the proposed bonds will provide funding for various facility and technology upgrades.

Three of the district’s six campus buildings are nearing 50 years old, FISD Board President Tony Hopkins said, which makes repairs and additions essential. The bond election was supposed to take place in May but was delayed due to COVID-19.

The 2019-20 school year saw the largest jump in enrollment in FISD history, Hopkins said. The district expects an additional 160-180 students for 2020-21, and 76% of FISD students are returning to in-person instruction. The south side of the district has seen a lot of residential growth as housing communities are built out, he added.

“When COVID[-19] passes, we’re going to be above capacity, and we’re going to have had a six-month delay,” Hopkins said. “When we’re back to normal education, those needs are going to be there.”

By Colleen Ferguson
A native central New Yorker, Colleen Ferguson worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. Colleen graduated from Syracuse University in 2019, where she worked for the campus's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange, with a degree in Newspaper and Online Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a degree in Spanish language and culture. Colleen previously interned with The Journal News/lohud, where she covered the commute in the greater New York City area.


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