Fort Bend ISD has canceled a June 3 public hearing it had scheduled to discuss the proposed tax rate for the 2019-20 school year and no longer recommends a tax ratification election (TRE) following the passage of House Bill 3. The bill was amended last weekend and approved by the Texas Senate. It now awaits Governor Greg Abbott’s signature to become law.
Prior to the bill’s final amendments, and amid uncertainty about state funding, FBISD administrators previously recommended that the board of trustees call a TRE so the district could continue to fund priorities that included compensation increases for all staff and support for learners.
“Following continued discussions with our Business and Finance Department, we are confident that we will be able to adopt a budget for the 2019-20 school year that will allow us to fund the legislated pay increases for teachers and full-day PreK as well as compensation increases for our other staff members that were not included in legislation,” FBISD Superintendent Charles Dupre said in a statement released by the school district. “We are also hopeful the limited funding provided by House Bill 3 will enable us to allocate a portion of resources to support progress toward achieving district goals that were adopted by our Board of Trustees.”
Salaries and benefits make up the majority of FBISD’s annual budget. The administration will present a comprehensive budget update to the board during its regular board workshop scheduled for June 10.
“The ability to offer competitive compensation has been a priority for Fort Bend ISD and legislators,” board president Jason Burdine said. “Our teachers are at the core of everything we do and are sought after year after year. We are committed to not only providing them with competitive pay, but also with the resources and innovative programming that will help them support students.”
In accordance with statute, FBISD must adopt its 2019-20 budget by June 30.