Tomball ISD is now expecting a $5 million deficit for fiscal year 2023-24 based on a new draft budget presented by Chief Financial Officer Jim Ross during the district’s April 10 workshop meeting.

The new draft budget projects $203 million in revenues and $208 million in expenses, with a general pay increase included in this latest draft budget, Ross said.

In the first budget workshop March 6, the district initially projected a $3 million deficit, Community Impact previously reported.

“If you’ll recall last month, we were saying that we expected more to come into the appropriations side, because we weren’t completely finished with some of our personnel and determining the personnel needed,” Ross said. “We know at this time, and we have settled on a budget that is a $208 million appropriation for this next year, which that is a $5 million deficit.”

The $208 million budget is an 8% increase in expenses, Ross said.

“I think that’s very realistic considering the inflation rate, the wage pressure that exists and the growth as far as with our district,” Ross said.

In the $208 million proposed budget, 62.38% would go toward instruction, and 12.18% would go to student support, the latter of which includes services, such as counseling, health services, transportation and extracurriculars, Ross said.

Nonstudent support, encompassing things like security and technology, makes up 12.31% of the proposed budget, and 8.33% and 3.92% of the budget would go toward campus and general administration, respectively.

Ross also touched on the Legislature and said the district would like to see a basic allotment increase.

The basic allotment for schools—the amount per student a district receives based on daily attendance—has not increased since 2019, Community Impact previously reported.

“If the Legislature isn’t going to increase our funding, ... if they’re not going to do that, then that’s going to hurt public school districts across the state, not just Tomball,” Ross said. “It’s a bankrupting action, them not taking action on funding.”