In 2006, state legislators implemented a funding
system for education that was doomed to failure. As a result, school districts across the
state of Texas are now facing a significant financial crisis. This system cut
residential taxes and funded districts with various amounts of funding per
students. In other words, Pasadena ISD receives $ 5,177 per student while
another district receives $7,343 per student. This difference means that we
have been working with much less funding overall for the last 6 years. In fact,
over the past three years, PISD made significant budget cuts across the board
so that funds could be allocated to align with the new strategic plan.
Subsequent state budgets have included deficits that
have contributed to a current state budget shortfall estimated to be as low as
$15 billion and as high as $26.8 billion. To deal with this shortfall,
legislators initially proposed public education cuts of between $4 and $5
billion per year which meant a reduction in state funding between $20 and $21
million per year for Pasadena ISD. Now the current estimate of public education
cuts has been increased with possible losses of up to $50 million for PISD
Don't be deceived. We do not have a lot of excess. The
cuts we have already made mean that we have been running a very lean budget for
years. Whatever further cuts we make will, by definition, have an impact on our
students; however, we will do whatever is necessary to meet the financial
challenge in a way that will minimize the effect on our students.
is Pasadena ISD making plans now when the state has not announced its final
School districts are required to file
school budgets before the state makes its final rulings. In addition to the
potential loss of $20 - $50 million, the state has also currently eliminated
such items as pre-kindergarten grants from the budgets which makes the
financial burden even greater on PISD.
The federal stimulus funds that support
a portion of all Texas school district budgets will expire at the end of the
current fiscal year so we must find a way to financially cover those programs
that are extremely beneficial for our students.
In addition to the anticipated loss in
state funding, we also must budget for anticipated cost increases including but
not limited to utilities, healthcare, property taxes and food.
what is Pasadena ISD doing to prepare for this financial challenge?
has identified savings in separate levels depending on the final reduction
amount from the state.
first level of reduction is already in progress based on a $21 million
reduction in state funding:
Since 85% of all school districts'
budgets are allocated to personnel, an across-the-board reduction in force is
being planned that will affect administrators, support personnel and teachers.
The hope always is that many of those affected by the RIF will be absorbed into
other positions for which they qualify through attrition.
Central Office staff including the reorganization of Curriculum and Instruction
and Special Programs and the elimination of 6 administrative positions as well
as the Associate Superintendent for Facilities position. ($549,000)
Alternative Education (Guidance Center and the Summit) for a loss of 11
the secondary level, teachers will teach an additional class and have increased
class sizes-a reduction of 86 teaching positions. ($4,042,000)
student/teacher ratio at elementary and middle schools-a reduction of 66
an average of one aide position from each campus. ($1,116,000)
small bilingual enrollment programs. ($141,000)
the number of dyslexia teachers on the secondary level. ($470,000)
Maintenance, Operations and Transportation staff. ($825,000)
police staff by 5 positions and crossing guards by 10. ($350,000)
A hiring freeze has been implemented
across the district. A 60-day moratorium has been placed on all positions to
save 2 months of salary. The Chief of Police position has also been left vacant
at this time to save money. If a teacher leaves from this point on in the
school year, a full-time sub will be used. All vacated positions will be
carefully reviewed and filled only if necessary. (Amount to be determined based
In a time that we need to take all steps
to reduce the budget, all Central Office Departments including Athletics, Fine
Arts, Transportation and Facilities are cutting 5% in "stuff" budgets in
addition to the major cuts they made three years ago. This will also include
the elimination of local performance pay, outside consultants and the purchase
of new Athletic and Fine Arts uniforms. ($5 million)
All campuses are cutting their "stuff"
budgets by 10% for next year. These budgets pay for instructional materials and
other supplies. ($700,000)
Eliminate all out-of-state travel unless
required by a grant or gained through achievement (state student competitions,
etc.) (Amount to be determined.)
In preparation for the anticipated
shortfall, an internal general counsel was hired and has significantly reduced
the district's legal fees. ($125,000)
Reduce energy costs across the district.
Retrofitting of many lights has already lowered utility rates and provided
better lighting for student learning. We will be implementing even more
stringent guidelines for the reduction of energy costs.
The district will use some fund balance
to make up the difference of these cuts and the reduction of state funding.
Some renovations that
were being scheduled have been put on hold until finances allow them. Some
renovations, such as the reconstruction of the Administration Building, will be
continued due to safety issues. In addition, some, such as the Carmen Orozco
Staff Development Center will continue because they are being paid with
remaining bond funds. Legally, a school district cannot use bond funds to pay
for salaries or other operational costs.
the state legislature cuts Pasadena ISD funding by more than $21 million, the
district will be forced to make even more drastic cuts. Some of those that have
been suggested include, but are not limited to, the following to reduce an
additional $29 million:
Eliminate Swim, Golf and Tennis
Eliminate all Intermediate School
athletic tournaments. (Amount to be determined.)
Move all athletic periods after school
and increase number of classes taught by coaches. (Amount to be determined.)
Change the fiscal year-a one-time budget
Further reduce staffing
Business and Human Resource staff ($161,000)
or Eliminate Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) campus staff
increase class sizes and eliminate additional positions at all levels (2-12)-334
reduce additional Central Office positions----18 positions. ($1,211,000)
campus administration-27 positions. ($1,755,000)
reduce Operations staff. ($400,000)
Move the Transportation limit to 1.5
miles instead of 1 mile for student transportation. ($350,000)
Close small elementary schools.
($3,000,000 per school)
Reduce or eliminate stipends, Masters/Doctorate
pay, over time, etc. (Over $608,500)
Eliminate additional services such as
can you do to help?
Send comments and suggestions to
Contact your legislators to let them
know respectfully that funding for public education should be a priority. There
is a list of area legislators at
Check the PISD Budget website at
for up-to-date information.