The Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees adopted a budget for the 2019-20 school year at its June 17 meeting. It included state-mandated pay raises for teachers, more options for younger students and increased support for special education students.
The district’s budget for the upcoming school year sits at $716,864,705, or $9,283 per student, which is projecting for an enrollment of 77,226. The majority of the budget – about 81 percent, according to a news release from the district – will support instruction and instructional support, including classroom teachers and aides, health services, guidance counseling and mental health support. Meanwhile, 17 percent will be allocated for district operations, including transportation, maintenance and repairs, information technology and police services.
Staff compensation increases are included in the budget. The passage of House Bill 3 in the Texas Legislature mandated raises for teachers, and FBISD teachers will receive either a $3,000 or $3,500 raise based on their years of teaching experience. All other non-teaching staff will receive 5 percent of their midpoint.
Though teachers received a step increase and staff received a retention payment last school year, there were no districtwide raises. The district said staff raises approved will ensure that FBISD remains competitive for recruiting and retaining staff to support student growth and achievement.
FBISD will offer full-day prekindergarten for eligible students starting next school year, when there are projected to be nearly 3,000 such students enrolled. The budget also includes funding to account for the district’s growing number of students who are receiving special education services, which projects to be about 10 percent of district’s 2019-2020 enrollment.
In the 2019-20 school year, the district will also open the James Reese Career and Technical Center and Malala Yousafzai Elementary.
The budget was adopted with the tax rate of $1.29, a five-cent decrease from the current tax rate of $1.34. The average tax bill for a homeowner in FBISD will decrease by about $46 annually, based on a home with an average taxable value of $261,013.