With the Robstown Independent School District facing the possibility of yet another fiscal year beginning with a budgeted deficit, school officials are considering the possibility of adjusting staff levels and program cuts.
Business manager Jodi Schroedter presented the school board with a preliminary 2010-11 budget during a Monday workshop that highlighted the district's concerns with declining enrollment and state funding.
The report showed the district's enrollment has fallen yet again, currently sitting at 3,315 students. Since 1998, the RISD has lost 971 students and has been reclassified as a 3A school district.
In addition, the state's mandate that districts provide annual pay increases to teachers, declining enrollment, and no additional state funds, has placed a financial burden on the RISD and its operating budget, Schroedter said. Because of that, the district could be looking at a deficit of $679,983 for the 2010-11 Fiscal Year, according to the report.
The district had budgeted for a deficit of $580,000 for the 2009-10 Fiscal Year, but current estimates put the district about $200,000 ahead of that figure, Schroedter said. The RISD could also be looking at a decrease in revenues of approximately $300,000 for next year, she added.
The district is looking to address the deficit by taking a harder look at existing programs and staffing levels, though any staff cuts will likely be made through attrition. Assistant superintendent Roel Lara said on Monday campus administrators have requested additional personnel, but had to be turned down due to budgetary constraints.
"We're doing (attrition) in a very subtle way, but you still have people upset that we're not filling positions," he said.
Interim superintendent Alfonso Obregon said the district would need to make some tough choices in the coming weeks in order to meet their goal of having a balanced budget.
"We're not too popular right now because we're trying to make cuts and our principals are saying, 'We need more,'" he said. "But two years of deficit spending is not a good recommendation for any district."
The district's next budget workshop is scheduled for June 8 at the administration building.