Fort Bend ISD proposes budget for 2019-20

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Fort Bend ISD discussed proposing $716.9 million in budget expenditures for the 2019-20 school year with its board of trustees.

Overall, the budget includes operating revenue of $704.8 million, a beginning fund balance of $205.7 million and $10 million in economic stabilization. It expects an ending fund balance of $195.7 million, including a 90-reserve requirement of $176.6 million.

The district said it will be spending $9,283 per student, which is a 7.8% increase over 2018-19 school year.

Within that $716.9 million in expenditures, $578.9 million will go toward instructional costs, $120.3 million for district operations and $17.9 million for central administration, according to the June 10 presentation.

Included in that is $24.7 million in compensation increases for all eligible FBISD employees. The 86th Texas Legislature passed House Bill 3, which mandated raises for teachers, librarians, counselors and nurses. To comply with this bill, FBISD is allotting 47.5% of revenue increase to salaries—only 30% was required by HB 3.

“We feel it is necessary to compete with those neighboring districts, such as Spring Branch, Pasadena, Aldine and Alief,” FBISD Executive Director of Finance Bryan Guinn said. “If we can’t match those, we will likely see losses of teachers to those districts.”

The school district is also planning to make about $20.3 million in investments in its goals and objectives, including mental health, threat assessment, special education population growth, early college high school, gifted and talented, collaborative communities, Educator Dedicated to Growing Excellence program expansion, full-day prekindergarten and the Early Literacy Center.

Full-day prekindergarten for eligible 4-year-olds was also mandated by HB 3. FBISD expects 2,800 students to enroll in this program, and it will need to hire about 180 additional teachers and aides to meet the need of a teacher and aide in each classroom.

Though the school district will be delivering a 2019-20 budget that meets requirements, FBISD Chief Financial Officer Steve Bassett said beginning in 2020-21, the district will need more revenue, and he said he fully anticipates calling a tax ratification election.

“We have enough money for this year, but to move the ball forward and stay competitive in 2021, the only way I see that being done is through a TRE,” Bassett said.

The FBISD board of trustees will vote on the budget at the June 17 meeting.

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Christine Hall
Christine Hall joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2018, and covers Missouri City and Fort Bend ISD. She previously reported on health care innovation for the Texas Medical Center, was a freelancer, and held various news roles at the Houston Business Journal.
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