What happened: SISD received its first estimated certified property values from the Harris County Appraisal District, SISD’s Chief Financial Officer Ann Westbrooks said, which showed an anticipated increase compared to FY 2022-23.
- With an estimated enrollment of 34,265 students in the 2023-24 school year, this gives SISD an estimated maintenance and operations tax rate of $0.7833 per $100 valuation.
Budget cuts: Westbrooks said a committee of principals, department heads and administrators labored to find $15 million in budget cuts for the FY 2023-24 budget. At the May 4 meeting, SISD leaders presented proposed budget cuts for the administration office and the elementary, middle and high schools.
The details: According to a presentation made by SISD leaders May 4, proposed cuts for the FY 2023-24 budget included:
- Moving the district’s bus routes so students must live more than 2 miles from campus or be subject to hazardous conditions to ride the bus in the 2024-25 school year and cutting bus drivers’ contracts to 180 days per year in the 2023-24 school year, representing a combined savings of about $1.56 million
- Eliminating multiple positions—such as library aides, clerical aides and central office staff—throughout the district, beginning in the 2023-24 school year, which would save the district about $3.67 million
- Cutting about $265,500 in stipends or incentives—including transportation attendance incentives and team leader stipends—which would begin in the 2023-24 or 2024-25 school years
- Moving multiple positions in the district to other funding sources beginning in the 2023-24 school year, which would represent a savings of about $6.67 million
- Discontinuing the Community Youth Services program—which provides community-based crisis counseling and intervention services for students—starting in the 2023-24 school year, which would save $300,000
“We had instances where people were asking, ‘How do you expect a first-grader to walk 2 miles to a school?’ ... This is very problematic,” Jensen said.
The bottom line: Spring ISD trustees did not take any action on the proposed staff incentives or the preliminary budget at the May 4 board workshop or at the following May 9 board meeting. Trustees approved last year's budget in June.