Last week, Austin Independent School District approved a $775.2 million dollar budget for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year. The budget passed with the Board of Trustees voting 7-1.
Included in the budget is a 1.5% raise for all district employees, funding for 5 new AISD Police Officer positions, and other security measures.
Despite this being a slight decrease from the previous budgets, AISD has had to pull from their reserve funds in order to keep the budget balanced. If they continue this trend for the next three years, there will no longer be a reserve fund to pull from. Should AISD reach this point, they run the risk of a downgrade by credit agencies, and state sanctions.
The district’s dire financial situation has not been helped by the fact that student enrollment has been on a steep decline for the last five years. As a result, the district has had to find ways to make cuts in the budget, including laying off teachers or consolidating certain schools.
Many concerned parents and Austinites have raised the question as to why AISD’s books are in so much turmoil. While many educrats within the district office at AISD would point to Republican mistreatment of public education, the proof is in the pudding.
According to the Texas Monitor, during the course of the 2015-2016 school year, 14 AISD administrators were making over $100,000. In the short span of a few years, the number of school officials making at least that amount has jumped to 146. Overall, administrator pay has spiked 12.8% on average in the past year. Many public school systems across the state have had no problem holding on to administrators and their extravagant benefit packages, while cutting teaching positions and closing schools.
Superintendent and administrator pay has skyrocketed, while jobs and pay for teachers continue to stagnate. Teachers should not have to worry about whether their students have enough school supplies while administrators in distant offices continue to live the high life on the taxpayer dime.