GISD cuts budget after funding gap | News | – Gatesville Messenger and Star | Gmx Pharm

In response to a budget shortfall, Gatesville Independent School District leaders have made significant budget cuts that will reduce district spending by $1.7 million.

“It’s a sad picture, and we’ve made some pretty big cuts,” said Darrell Frazier, the district’s chief financial officer. He noted that $674,000 of the cuts were made in the district’s human resources department.

On the positive side, “there have been no layoffs” and that GISD employees will continue to receive pay increases for fiscal year 2022-23. However, “we have eliminated almost all vacancies. There have been no (current) staff reductions, but some reductions due to turnover” (people retiring or leaving the district and not being replaced).

Frazier had warned the school board in June that the district was facing a deficit of up to $2 million, but that amount was reduced. Despite this, extensive budget cuts were required.

Frazier said he met with each campus principal to formulate the cost cuts and that funding has effectively returned to the pre-pandemic budget of 2018-19.

“To give you an idea of ​​what has been cut primarily – pretty much all of the travel,” he said. “There will be no staff going to conferences.” Instead, staff are expected to hold meetings/training via conference calls and internet programs such as Zoom.

The library fund for new books has also been cut, Frazier said, although librarians may have some leftover activity funds to buy books.

He said he has been waiting for a response from the Fine Arts and Sports departments on proposed budget cuts since July 25.

“Pretty much everything superfluous (non-essential) is trimmed,” Frazier said. “There may be some cuts in meal costs for teams that travel. They have some pretty activity accounts that will come into play.

“It’s going to be a tight budget, but everyone I’ve spoken to has responded really well – ripe. Everyone recognizes the position we are in.

In Texas, school district funding is based primarily on enrollment and attendance.

dr Barrett Pollard said he spoke to the state commissioner of education about enrollment and financial concerns.

“The number of children in Texas is shrinking,” Pollard said. “Birth rates have fallen and there are fewer young people. At one point, Texas was an outlier. We had more children than adults, but that is no longer the case. I shudder to think of what our enrollment will look like when we hit “pandemic birth rates” (which started in 2020 and have not yet manifested in the student body).

Board Vice President Charles Alderson asked how the state’s student population was doing with all the people who had crossed the line in recent years.

“Some of that was diverted to home schools and private schools,” Pollard said. “The (state education) commissioner attributes the decline to low birth rates.”

When asked if there might be financial relief for districts with lower enrollment and attendance, Pollard said the commissioner told him there was no support in the state legislature for funding schools for students who aren’t there.

“He said the only thing the legislature could consider is higher per-student funding” (increasing the amount of money received for each student).

Sometimes the use of funds is severely restricted, and Pollard said it would be beneficial for the district to have “some leeway in how you spend — more flexibility in how you spend on security.”

As a result of budget cuts, some of the periodic technology updates the district routinely makes will have to be postponed, Frazier said, and use of buses for travel (other than taking students to and from school) will also be increasingly restricted.

“We’re going to have to limit spending to things that are absolutely necessary and we won’t be able to do everything we’ve done in the past,” he said.

When asked about the impact on special education, Frazier said travel will be reduced and only essential supplies will be allowed to be purchased. “Wish lists are being cut,” he said.

When hosting an event, the athletic department “can only bring in what they (earn) by hosting an event”.

Despite the budget cuts, Frazier said staff have responded well.

“There weren’t many tears,” he said. “I’m proud of how they handled it.”

Some of the budget cuts decided include cuts from:

* 29.9% from primary campus

* 31.8% of base campus.

* 25% from center campus.

* 23.4% from junior high campus.

* 23.2% from university campus.

* 70.9% from vocational and technical training

* 14.3% from fine arts

* 39.5% from Junior High Athletics

* 9.4% from high school athletics

* 6.3% for playoff spend

* 18.7% from gastronomy

* 18.9% from technology

* 2.7% from transport

* 20.5% from maintenance

* 8.2% from investment costs

* 2.8% from the interest and repayment fund (debt service)

* 23.3% from administration

* 19.6% from special education

* 51.9% from hosted sporting events

One area that will see an increase is curriculum and instruction, with an increase of 7.2%.

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