A proposed new funding method for public schools is dead, and Pearland ISD administrators are more hopeful for next year’s budget.
With both state and local numbers looking brighter for the next fiscal year, the school board last Tuesday approved a 3 percent midpoint raise for faculty and administrative and instructional staff, with starting teacher pay at $50,600 annually.
And there may be more where that came from, based on what happens in Austin.
“We’re back to House Bill 1,” Superintendent John Kelly said of a school funding bill that is, he said, more favorable to Pearland ISD than the previous proposal.
“We’re holding out hope that that stays in place,” he said.
“The uncertainty for us, as always, is the legislative process is kind of crazy, and they can tack on deletions and amendments and changes right up almost until May 31, when session business ends,” Kelly said.
The PISD fiscal year ends at the end of June. There is no change proposed to the current combined tax rate of $1.4157 per $100 of value.
The school district’s budget and tax rate will be discussed at its next regular meeting, scheduled Tuesday, June 9.
The previously proposed funding plan had contained no “cost of education index” – something that negatively impacted Houston-area ISDs where costs are higher, Kelly said.
Another piece of unexpected news: Appraisals have gone up nearly 11 percent.
“We were not expecting that big of a jump,” Kelly said. “As a result, that added some local revenue. The more you get in local revenue, the less that state gives you, but there’s a one-year lag, so we benefit from that increase in local appraisals for this one year.”
New positions needed by the district may now materialize, including an assistant principal for Junior High West, two counselor positions for middle schools and a “student mentoring specialist” to coordinate mentors and volunteers for students.
PISD trustee meetings are held at the Education Support Center, 1928 N. Main. Individuals may address the board during the citizen’s participation portion of the regular meeting.
Agendas for each meeting will be available 72 hours in advance at pearlandisd.org.