Frisco, Texas – The Frisco ISD Board of Trustees will consider a 2017-18 budget Monday that prioritizes teacher pay and incorporates nearly 60 strategies to reduce costs and generate additional revenue.
A public hearing and vote is scheduled during the regular School Board meeting on June 19. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Frisco ISD Administration Building, 5515 Ohio Drive.
The proposed $473.5 million budget is the result of months of work by employees, parents and citizens who examined previous practices and spending. Input and feedback from the priorities-based budget process reinforced existing priorities such as a focus on teaching and learning, commitment to the classroom and desire to maintain competitive staff salaries.
As a result, the proposed budget includes a two percent pay raise for employees to address concerns about rising health care premiums and increasing salaries across the region.
If approved, the raise will help Frisco ISD stay competitive with salaries in area school districts, which are expected to climb an average of 2.5 percent next school year, with some area districts offering 3 or 4 percent raises. The raise would also help offset rising premiums under the state health care plan, which are increasing an average of 8.1 percent next school year, or as high as 25.5 percent depending on the type of coverage selected.
The proposed budget also reduces spending in several areas identified by staff and stakeholders and adds some new fees, while increasing others. Click here to view a full list of strategies incorporated into the 2017-18 budget.
Significant savings will also be achieved through the decision to delay the opening of four new schools until August 2018. The District will save more than $15 million in staff salaries by waiting a year to welcome students into Memorial High School, Lawler Middle School, Liscano Elementary and Talley Elementary, which will be completed later this summer.
When combined with additional funds from an update to the state’s school funding formula approved last month, these strategies close Frisco ISD’s anticipated budget deficit for 2017-18 and allow the District to add a projected $3.6 million to its fund balance. Fund balance is designed to cover cash flow deficits at the beginning of each fiscal year and should grow as the District grows and expenditures increase.
“The 85th Legislature did not fix the school finance system or solve Frisco ISD’s long-term challenges,” said Chief Financial Officer Kimberly Pickens. “But, the approved two-year budget does include an update to the funding formula based on property values in Austin ISD. That adjustment puts FISD in a somewhat better financial position than we originally anticipated and allows us to maintain our fund balance at targeted levels for another year.”
The budget is based on a tax rate adopted earlier this month of $1.46 per $100 valuation, the same since 2012. A tax rate of $1.50 would be needed to maintain the same level of maintenance and operations (M&O) revenue and debt service as last year.
Even though the tax rate is staying the same, Frisco ISD residents will pay more in taxes in 2017-18 due to rising property values. But because FISD does not retain additional funds from rising property values to support the operating budget, taxpayers will just pay a larger portion of the funds necessary to satisfy the budget, while the state reduces its share proportionally.
Learn more about development of the budget at www.friscoisd.org/budget.
Other Board Business
In addition, Monday’s Board meeting will include administering the oath of office to trustees Anne McCausland and Debbie Gillespie, who were re-elected in May. Afterwards, the Board will vote on the positions of Board president, vice president and secretary for the 2017-18 school year.
Trustees will also recognize several student and staff achievements including:
- Student teams who competed at the Destination Imagination Global Finals
- National Lexus Eco Challenge grand prize winners from Lebanon Trail High School
- National Frisco ice hockey varsity team champions, which is made up of students from FISD high schools
- Scoggins Middle School recognized as a 2017 Texas School to Watch
- Anderson Elementary Principal Monica Jackson named Texas National Distinguished Principal finalist
- Federal Programs Coordinator Manuel Gonzales to serve as Texas Elementary Principals and Schools Association (TEPSA) president
- Transportation employees won two consecutive national titles in the Transporting Students with Disabilities & Preschoolers (TSD) Special Needs Roadeo
As part of the community partner portion of the meeting, FISD will recognize members of the inaugural class of FISD Insight, an outreach program piloted this spring to provide stakeholders with a behind-the-scenes look at District operations. Participants toured various facilities and spoke with students, staff and trustees to learn more about Frisco ISD academics, athletics, fine arts and technology, as well as unseen, essential areas such as business services, transportation, health services and more.
In other action, the Board is expected to name a new principal for Liberty High School, among other personnel recommendations.