June 2024 Special Meeting

MISD Board Special Meeting, June 2024
Posted on 07/01/2024
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Montgomery ISD board members met for a special meeting on Friday, June 28. You can watch the video and read the recap below. 


Montgomery ISD Board of Trustees approves $93 million budget for 2024-2025

During a Montgomery Independent School District school board meeting, trustees adopted a $93 million budget for the 2024-2025 school year. MISD leadership anticipates a $4.3 million budget shortfall, which will be paid from the district’s reserves.    

 “Amidst this budget deficit, we have remained committed to protecting the people, programs, and services that make up the premier educational experience for our students. But at some point, something has to give,” Superintendent Dr. Mark Ruffin said. “MISD has been negatively impacted by factors outside our control such as inflation, decreases in federal funding through Medicaid reimbursements, a stagnant level of funding provided by the State, and recapture payments we have been forced to send back to the State.”  

The basic allotment, the amount of money the State provides per student, has not increased since 2019, while inflation has risen 22% during that same time period. 

“We have met with our local representatives and legislators about the critical juncture ahead for public education funding heading into the next legislative session,” Ruffin said. “I am thankful that all remain committed to collaboratively working with us to address some of these critical challenges.” 

Earlier this month, the district announced Limited Open Enrollment (LOE) for the 2024-25 school year at select campuses, to generate enrollment-based revenue from the State.  Applications are being considered on a first-come, first-served basis to fill a very limited number of available spaces. Students admitted through LOE are responsible for their own transportation to and from school in Montgomery ISD and must provide documentation of past school attendance and discipline records. “There is only so much of our funding situation that we can control,” Chief Financial Officer Ben Davidson said. “The major driver of our state aid is student enrollment.”  

“We knew the budget development process was going to be especially challenging for 2024-2025,” Davidson said. “We have been transparent with our staff, asking every campus and every department to carefully evaluate their spending as we prepared for the new school year. We have worked to renegotiate contracts in our favor and create operational efficiencies across the board. To reduce the budget allotted for substitutes, central office administrators with teaching certifications will be required to serve as substitute teachers once a month. Dr. Ruffin is committed to ensuring we are all in this together.”   

“Because of our past fiscal responsibility, we have been able to absorb these shortfalls without allowing it to take away from the educational experience for our students, ultimately avoiding reductions in force, cutting important programs, or limiting our course offerings,” Ruffin said. “However, if something does not change, there are extremely difficult decisions that we will be forced to explore and consider.” 

Montgomery ISD’s 2024-2025 budget includes a district compensation plan that provides raises for all employees. Individuals on the teacher hiring schedule will receive a $650 raise, and all other employees will receive a 1% salary increase from the midpoint of their position pay grade. 

“I acknowledge that this compensation increase is not as significant as our employees were hoping,” Ruffin said. “I do hope it is understood that in the face of a deficit budget, our board made the decision to continue to support our people. I remain committed to doing all that is possible to provide the resources necessary to ensure an excellent work experience for our staff that results in a premier education for our students.”  

 CFO Ben Davidson pointed to several factors officials had to consider while drafting next year’s budget, including:  

  • An existing $2.1 million structural deficit from the 2022-2023 school year   
  • Anticipated increases in expenditures due to the opening of Creekside Elementary School  
  • Increases to special education populations requiring additional staff 
  • A $1.3 million reduction in revenue due to the statewide reduction in Medicaid reimbursements  

“Adopting a deficit budget reinforces our commitment to transparency. It also ensures that from day 1 of our fiscal year we are extremely cognizant and vigilant about our operating expenses and budgetary decisions,” Davidson said. “This budget has been a team effort, and we appreciate the input from our employees and conscientious budget planning from our district leaders.” 

MONTGOMERY INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age or disability in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, educational programs, employment of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services.

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