ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A projected 1,000 fewer enrolled students means about $10 million less could be coming from the state for the Abilene Independent School District (AISD).
Each year school districts tell the state how many students they think will be enrolling in the coming year. That figure is then used to determine how much money that school receives.
“I wish it weren’t this way because it sounds like we see kids as little dollar signs walking around. And that is not in any way how we view the education of children in the Abilene community,” says AISD Superintendent Dr. David Young.
Money in the AISD budget is 60% from the state and 40% from local taxes, so $10 million less would be a sizeable blow.
“We will be efficient, but we’re not going to be passing out pink slips at Abilene ISD,” Dr. Young said. “If we have a vacancy at one campus, rather than just automatically filling that slot from the outside, is there a teacher that we can move there, or maybe it’s an assistant principal position?”
By assessing empty positions before filling them, the district can utilize the staff they already have and save that salary for use elsewhere.
It’s important to remember that this is only an early projection. As more data becomes available, these models will be updated and adjusted. Young says they’re only assuring that the school budget will meet their needs.
“If we have to dip into our savings to make sure we do everything we need to do for our kids, we’re not going to worry about doing that,” said Young.