Spring ISD’s 2023-24 budget will likely leave the district with a $30 million budget deficit, district leaders said March 7, which is similar to how the 2022-23 budget is expected to finish.

Why? SISD leaders will not have real numbers for the 2023-24 budget to present to trustees until April, SISD Chief Financial Officer Ann Westbrooks said, but her preliminary estimates show a budget deficit due to multiple factors:
  • SISD has been seeing lower student attendance averages of about 88%-91% since the coronavirus pandemic hit in early 2020, compared to an average attendance of 94% prior.
  • The cost of the district’s self-funded medical plan for staff is greater than plan premiums.
  • The district expects to see an enrollment increase from 34,175 students in the 2022-23 school year to 34,271 students in 2023-24. However, Westbrooks said the district is budgeting for no enrollment increase.
Quote of note: “We're still working as hard as we can to get our students to come to school every day, but we have to adjust the budget because we're past the point of anticipating that it'll get better the next year,” Westbrooks said. “We haven't seen that happen.”

The details: While SISD does not anticipate enrollment growth, the district does hope to see growth in property values for the 2023-24 budget. SISD saw its property values from the Harris Central Appraisal District increase 10%-15% in the last two fiscal years, so the district is cautiously budgeting for an increase of 8% in property values, Westbrooks said.

What’s next? SISD will receive its estimated property values from the appraisal district by April 30. More accurate budgeting estimates can be made afterward.