The Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees approved a $497,159,194 operating budget for the 2013-2014 school year at its June 10 regular business meeting. The budget is designed to provide educational services for a projected 70,184 students.
The Board approved a two percent salary increase for all current staff and an increase in the starting teacher salary to $46,500 from $44,750. This budget also provides market adjustments to certain steps on the Teacher Salary Schedule to make sure Fort Bend ISD salaries remain competitive with other districts. The estimated cost of these increases is $7.5 million, with $4.9 million, or 60 percent being allocated to teacher raises.
Although Fort Bend ISD will not be opening any new campuses this year, the District budgeted for 167 additional staff due to growth. The new positions include the addition of college and career advisors at each high school, hall monitors, assistant principals, and additional math and science specialists for at-risk campuses, a Fine Arts coordinator, curriculum coordinator for PE, Health, and Wellness, and other new campus staff throughout the District. Eighty-six percent of the budget goes toward salaries and benefits.
Fort Bend ISD’s overall tax rate has remained the same for the past four years. The district’s tax rate is $1.34 per $100 valuation which includes a debt service tax rate of 30 cents combined with the District’s $1.04 maintenance and operations tax rate.
In addition, Fort Bend ISD has reduced its overall annual energy usage by almost 20 million kWh which has allowed the district to put the energy savings back into the classroom.