As Frisco ISD prepares its 2020-21 budget, it’s taking into account the likelihood of an upcoming recession. However, the district doesn’t plan on furloughing any staff. In fact, it was recommended to the district Board of Trustees to allow for hiring more people and increasing compensation despite an anticipated slowdown in enrollment growth and possible funding cuts.
At the May 13 special Board of Trustees meeting, district Chief Financial Officer Kimberly Smith said needs for public health support in the state could likely grow as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since education and Health and Human Services make up the largest parts of the state budget, Smith said, that could mean a reduction in state funding for public education.
“If there’s a greater need for public health support, they’re going to have to take the money from somewhere in order to pay for that, and education is the next biggest piece of the pie,” she said.
Smith also discussed the impact of sales taxes at the meeting, which could be one factor resulting in state funding cuts.
“Because of COVID-19 and the economic slowdown, sales taxes took a big, big hit” she said.
Sales taxes account for 55% of tax collections in the state, she said, and help provide for the state general fund, which is used to help fund schools.
“The comptroller has started telling state agencies to plan to make cuts,” Smith said.
A press release from the district also mentioned oil and gas revenues as a factor for possible cuts.
In her presentation to the board, Smith also assumed a loss of local revenue but an increase in federal revenue.
The district is expecting a slowdown in enrollment growth, according to the press release. However, new students are still enrolling, Smith said, even in the midst of the pandemic. Based on the proposed budget, the district will also be able to maintain the same class sizes, according to the press release.
Smith said the budget recommendations given to the board were made under the assumption of a future recession and of a loss in funding for the next two years.
“However, all of the recommendations that we’re making are intended to be sustainable,” she said. “So we’re not going to make a recommendation now thinking we have to cut it in the future.”
The “near final” budget presentation is slated for June 8, which is the last opportunity for changes. The budget is expected to be adopted June 22 with a public hearing scheduled for the same day.