FRISCO (KRLD) – Board members in the Frisco Independent School District heard the latest ideas Monday night to cut into a $30 million budget shortfall next year resulting from a failed bond proposal. Several ideas have been circulating since nearly 60 percent of voters decided against a $0.13 tax increase last year.
According to estimates, the district has lost millions in state funding over the past 10 years, all while being the fastest-growing school system in North Texas. “Our district has quietly absorbed funding cuts from the state for years, making it increasingly difficult to keep up with growth, attract the best teachers and take care of those who are already here,” said Anne McCausland, president of the Board of Trustees.
The board was presented with an idea to eliminate all library aide positions, which would save $750,000. Reducing the budget for internet maintenance by cutting technology specialist jobs would save about $500,000. And getting rid of the ninth-grade PSAT test would save $32,000.
There was even a plan floated to have some students do janitorial work.
But at the top of the list is a proposal to slash the so-called ‘per pupil allotment’ by 15 percent. For example, the school district would spend $89 on each elementary school student instead of $105. High school students currently receive $155 of spending, but that would be reduced to $130 per student. This plan would shave about $1 million off of the budget.
There is also a proposal to raise the prices for adult ticket sales at high school and middle school events. Everything aside from varsity football games would see a $1 increase.
The district had already delayed the opening of four newly-constructed schools because of the budget gap.
District officials stated that the process has been difficult, but necessary to help the school and the community. And it has not been all bad. CFO Kimberly Pickens added, “The recommendations do include pay raises for staff, almost $2 million in central administration cuts and a guarantee that every teacher with good performance will have a job in Frisco next year.”
The budget will be finalized in May, and then board members will vote on it in June.
There was also discussion Monday night about replacing the superintendent, who announced that he is retiring this year.