The 2023-24 school year in Friendswood ISD will see at least 190 more students enrolled and the potential for a 4.8% lower tax rate for residents, district staff shared at a May 8 board of trustees meeting.

The details: The district projects a total enrollment of 6,050, including 190 new students as of May 4, agenda documents show. Enrollment at Friendswood High School, which has seen a 4% decrease since September 2020, is projected at 1,938 students.

Preliminary budget estimates for fiscal year 2023-24 include a tax rate of $1.1518 per $100 valuation, a 4.8% decrease from FY 2022-23. The district projects expenditures of $61.8 million and a $3.61 million deficit. However, if House Bill 100 passes, that deficit would drop to $2.96 million.

The board also compared two salary scenarios for 2023-24. Both involve a 2% increase for salaries districtwide, with the exception of a $0.50/hour raise for custodial staff instead with the second option.

A comparison of eight area districts shows that FISD currently ranks eighth for beginning teacher salaries in the current fiscal year, only ahead of Galveston ISD and below the market mean by $2,679. The 2% salary increase would leave the district’s ranking unchanged for fiscal year 2024, with the beginning teacher salary still $2,732 below the market mean.

What’s next: District staff will present the proposed budget and tax rate to the board and hold a public hearing before the final iterations are adopted in August.

Also on the agenda: The district welcomed a new executive director of technology for the 2023-24 school year, Jeremy Walker. Walker currently serves as an assistant principal at Dunbar Middle School in Dickinson ISD.

The board also authorized the purchase of a van and an SUV for its food service department to transport catering services and move items from the FISD Annex storage location to campuses. Vehicles will be delivered this summer and paid for using food service funds.