FISD considers 2021-22 budget, COVID recovery

During its regular June 28, 2021 meeting, the Forney Independent School District Board met to consider budget, construction, helping students recover from the COVID gaps.

  • 2021-2022 Budget Public Hearing
          Mr. John Chase, Chief Financial Officer, said have had several workshops during spring.  The document has 4 sections, is very comprehensive.  Enrollment is building block of budget; demographer says will 1309 new students, expect 6.5% after this next year 10% increase.  Property values increase estimated at 18%, won't know until July, then may adopt tax rate.  Single-Family (SF) is largest portion of property value, up about 80% over 5 years.  Commercial is up 40%.  Combined budget revenue 160 mil, expense 157 mil.  82% of general budget is payroll.  86th legislature revamped ISD funding, get about $6,660 / student (graph shows 6,160).  Will get some fast-growth funding, not included in budget due to timing of notification.  Possibly M&O rate could go down slightly due to state compression.  Plan to leave I&S at same rate.  Expect 10.9% revenue increase (12 mil), about same amount as enrollment.  Have 3% pay increase for staff in budget.  Giving chromebooks to grade 3 now.  Expenses going up 2%, not by 10%, due to capital improvement costs.  Food service will see 10.1% increase in revenue and expenses. 
          Total Revenue up 19.8% due to last year collections being larger.  Debt service will have 30 mil balance, 16 mil payment due in Aug. 2022.  Could use some to pay off bonds early.  Tax rate should be adopted Sep. 13, maybe earlier.
          Pres. Pharris asked if new distribution centers values will show up next year; Mr. Chase said some of it is on, probably Goodyear, not all of Amazon, which is about 100 mil for buildings.
          There was no public input.
  • Monthly Financial Report
          Mr. Chase said will have to re-appropriate some funds for construction.  May had 3.8 mil revenue, 8.7 mil expenses.  YTD expenses 85%, about same as prior years.  Food service: May 515k income (62%), 401k expenses (77%).  Still expect to require 200k to cover shortfall. 
  • Resilient School Support Program Update
          Dr. Judy Webber, Chief of Learner Services, said TEA started this program for Resilient Schools Support Program (RSSP), partnered with Ed Direction, which staff was pleased with.  It was a big help with virtual learning.  For year 2, will have accelerated learning, to make up for gaps.  TEA asked FISD to continue, helping with virtual learning.  Forney gained a reputation for virtual program.  Did a survey of parents and teachers.  STAAR results showed some virtual students scored higher than face-to-face (f2f).  The need for accelerated learning is nationwide.  Students lost some mastery in reading and more in math.  Need to work to cover the 3-month gap from COVID shutdown.  Ms. Dobbs asked how compare statewide; state doesn't release that data.  Dr. Terry said they don't have apples-to-apples comparisons, just individual students' data.  Dr. Webber said state has taken down the letter-grades for districts.  Mr. Andrews said all districts have this gap, lucky to be partnered w/ this program.
  • Early Childhood/Literacy Update
          Dr. Webber said HB3 from previous session setup a monitoring system for PreK-3, to improve early literacy. They had no prior data, or guidelines how to assess the data.  Their goals were for PreK proficiency to go from 55% in 2020 to 90% in 2024, on tract to meet that.  For Kindergarden, had growth, but below goal.  First grade overall met goal.  Second grade, all schools below goal, will have to study why.  Third grade showing growth, but quite varied across campuses.  COVID-year added complexity to meeting goals.  Will do teacher training in the Science of Teaching Reading.
          Mr. Andrews: state emphasis on reading, will there be similar for math? Yes, state said they would, but never provided any resources.  Ms. Dobbs asked about if collaborate plans between campuses; Dr. Webber said have scope and sequence programs.  The future-ready programs will be even more important this year. 
  • Master Planning Update
          Ms. Kim Morisak, Chief of Information, Innovative and Technology Services, introduced Jeff Fisher from Gallagher: Rhodes and Jackson could have admin move-in mid-July.  Irrigation mostly complete.  Putting turf on field soon.  Griffin: working on punch list, admin moves in on 7th.  Johnson/Willet both have utilities going in, working on piers.  NFHS field house foundation coming along, turf is on field.  FHS baseball fields: dugouts in place, working on prep for turf.
          Ms. Green: what being built that looks like a prison near daycare and new schools, will that look better when finished? Dr. Terry said front side is mostly glass, looks better.  Ms. Morisak said bought technology thanks to grants, waiting on deliveries due to chip shortage.
  • Public Comment - none
  • Approved as one consent item:
    • Budget Amendment
    • Update 117 as a Final Reading
    • Jackson Middle School and Rhodes Intermediate School Infrastructure and Exterior Improvement Bid
    • Criswell Elementary Drainage and Site Improvement Bid
    • Campus Fixture Replacement and Repairs

  • Approved Board Goals as presented.
          Dr. Webber said is final report from committee.  These goals been in effect since 2014.
  • Approved the 2021-2022 Budget
          Mr. Chase said this was explained earlier, recommended adoption.  Dr. Terry complimented Mr. Chase and staff, as well as board.
  • Approved the 2021-2022 employee compensation plan
          Mr. Chase said raises were about 2%, adjusted substitute pay, board already approved teacher raises.  Dr. Terry said retention stipend is included in plan.
  • 2021 TASB delegate/alternate selection: appointed Mr. Regan as delegate and Ms. Bateman as alt.
  • NO executive session re:
    • Deliberation Regarding the Ratification of Employment of Professional Contract Personnel, Pursuant to Tex. Gov't Code 551.074, Personnel Matters
    • Consultation with Attorney, Pursuant to Tex. Gov't Code 551.071

  • Approved ratification of employment of professional contract personnel as discussed in closed session
  • Thursday, July 29, 2021 @ 6:00 PM Regular School Board Meeting, Willet groundbreaking Fri Oct 1.
  • Adjourned at 2014.
Monday, 2021, June 28