The Frisco ISD Board of Trustees met in special session on September 6 to canvass votes of the August 27 Tax Ratification Election and discuss 2017-18 budget development and proposed budget savings for 2016-17.
The election failed with 58 percent of the vote, effectively rolling back the combined tax rate to $1.46 per $100 valuation. The 13-cent increase would have increased revenue for day-to-day operations and helped offset cuts in state funding.
“It’s an opportunity to bring out the best in us – to review our processes and our practices, to listen to our community, to respect the outcome of this TRE very much,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jeremy Lyon.
“That’s why we put it before the community and we got that feedback and our commitment is to move forward with the resources that we have and absolutely stick to our core purpose and mission of providing great student opportunities for our community members, our families and our students, and preserving the great elements of this school district that have gotten us to this point and make us the most desirable school district in Texas for people to come to and attend. Our commitment is to continue that.”
Frisco ISD adopted the 2016-17 operating budget in June and will work within that budget this school year to prioritize savings where possible. That will include making reductions in staff travel and professional development, as well as closely scrutinizing staff hiring.
No significant changes are expected this school year for students, parents and staff as result of the election. The District anticipates using fund balance to cover any deficit created by the 2016-17 budget.
Meanwhile, work on the 2017-18 budget has already begun to address an estimated $30 million shortfall next year and in following years.
During the special meeting, the District outlined a nine-month-long process for working with staff, trustees and community members to identify cost savings moving forward.
“The vision is to fund high-priority areas that have the greatest impact on students and to reduce or eliminate spending in lower-priority areas,” said Chief Financial Officer Kimberly Pickens.
Staff members presented the following options during the special meeting, but no final decisions have been made:
- Reduce central administration costs as much as possible
- Freeze salaries
- Delay the opening of new schools currently under construction until the 2018-19 school year – It will cost more than $15 million to staff Memorial High School, Lawler Middle School, Talley Elementary and Liscano Elementary in 2017-18, not including additional costs related to opening schools, such as utilities, maintenance or transportation.
- Utilize fund balance if needed
The District’s goals and vision are as follows:
- A successful, priorities-based budget process will result in a balanced and sustainable budget aligned with the District’s mission to know every student by name and need.
- Throughout the budget development process, the focus will be on student learning, and leaders will be cautious not to be short-sighted in the long-term impact of decisions.
- FISD will build support for this initiative with staff and the community by listening, encouraging input and maintaining transparency.
- As a District, priorities are to:
- Protect the classroom by guiding and supporting high levels of learning for all students.
- Recruit, retain and support an effective teacher in every classroom and an effective principal in every school.
- Commit to the whole child by providing social, emotional, physical and academic support.
- Provide a safe, secure and well-maintained learning environment.
- Continue to maximize student opportunities through the small schools model.
- As part of the budget development process, the District will work to reduce or eliminate spending in areas that do not align with identified priorities.
- View the presentation outlining the process moving forward or watch video of the special meeting.
Regular Board Meeting
The next regular meeting of the School Board is Monday, September 12 at 7:30 p.m. It will include discussion regarding priority-based budgeting, including committees and the opportunity for citizen input.
There will also be a time during the meeting for the public to address the Board. If you wish to speak, please sign-in prior to the meeting.
Click here to view the meeting agenda. The meeting will be streamed live online at http://bit.ly/FISDlive.