Tomball ISD board of trustees takes first look at 2019-20 budget

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Preliminary budget projections for fiscal year 2019-20 estimate $141.8 million in general fund revenue and expenditures for Tomball ISD, Chief Financial Officer Jim Ross told the board of trustees April 8. This budget would be 7.9% higher than FY 2018-19, Ross said, which totaled $131.4 million.

The district’s budget is dependent upon school finance reform efforts ongoing in the state Legislature as well as estimated property tax values from Harris and Montgomery counties expected later this spring, Ross said. As a result, the budget presented April 8 is only preliminary, he said.

Initial projections estimate $19.74 million in state funding, $120.76 million in local funding and $1.3 million in federal funding for the district. Additionally, district officials anticipate TISD’s recapture payment to decrease from $2.6 million in FY 2018-19 to $1.68 million in FY 2019-20, according to the budget presentation.

Although the preliminary budget is 7.9% higher than the FY 2018-19 budget, the two budgets cannot be compared as FY 2018-19 spans 10 months while the upcoming FY 2019-20 spans 12 months, Ross said.

“The previous year was a 10-month budget. It will not be comparable with anything we do in the future or if we look back in the past,” he said.

The board approved changing TISD’s fiscal year last May from a Sept. 1 start date to a July 1 start date, causing the ongoing fiscal year to be shortened to 10 months. The board took this action, a one-time change allowed by the Texas Education Code, to avoid a $3.5 million budget shortfall, Community Impact Newspaper reported previously. Therefore, FY 2019-20 will run from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020.

To accommodate projected enrollment growth of about 980 new students, Ross said the initial budget includes funds to employ 40.5 new teachers and 15 paraprofessionals and non-professional instructional staff as well as funds reserved for eight teaching positions that may be needed for future growth.

“Student enrollment growth has been a major factor for us. The past five years we’ve averaged 6.4% [enrollment growth],” he said.

At this time the district does not propose a change in the property tax rate from $1.34 per $100 valuation, Ross said.

Ross said he will discuss major expenses for the upcoming year in detail during the May board workshop. The board next meets May 13 and 14 for a workshop and regular meeting, respectively.

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Anna Lotz
Anna joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. In July 2017, she transitioned to editor. Anna covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in the Tomball and Magnolia communities. Prior to CI, Anna served as editor-in-chief of Cedars, interned with the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., and spent time writing for the Springfield News-Sun and Xenia Daily Gazette.
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