$593 million budget based on projected 1,000-student enrollment increase
During a regularly scheduled meeting on June 20, 2016, the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees adopted a $592,626,411 general operational budget for the 2016-17 school year. The 2016-17 budget is based on a projected enrollment of 74,111 students, which is an increase of 1,033 students from the 2015-16 school year.
Included in the budget is approximately $2.5 million that will go toward teacher raises, with each teacher to receive a minimum increase of $500, based on years of experience. In addition, approximately $1.83 million will be used for new positions, including 11 Career and Technical Education teaching positions, and $1.85 million accounts for stipend adjustments and equity and job reclassifications previously approved by the Board of Trustees.
Fort Bend ISD’s Chief Financial Officer Steven Bassett said while revenues in the 2015-16 school year came in higher than expected due to increased property values, the 2016-17 budget reflects a decrease of approximately $4.4 million in state revenue due to the state’s funding formula.
“As local property taxes rise, the state’s share of funding per student actually decreases.
This means that even though we will serve more students – and our average taxpayer will pay over 8 percent more in property taxes – FBISD will see less revenue per student. It is our hope that the upcoming Texas Legislature will consider changing this flawed system, but in the meantime, it is important for Fort Bend ISD to exercise caution.”
The 2015-16 revenue per student is projected to be $8,085; and the district is budgeting for approximately $7,945 in 2016-17, a decrease of 1.7 percent. The adopted budget is based on keeping the district’s overall tax rate at $1.34 per $100 valuation. This includes a debt service rate of 30 cents and a maintenance and operations (M&O) tax rate of $1.04.
“Due to strong fiscal planning, Fort Bend ISD is in good financial standing, even as we encounter uncertainties in state funding and prepare to open additional schools. For now, we are preparing to “hold the line” with our overall tax rate of $1.34 in order to demonstrate the most fiscally prudent use of taxpayer dollars,” said Bassett.
The board will formally adopt a tax rate in the fall of 2016.