Trustees voted to change the start of the district’s fiscal year from Sept. 1 to July 1 and reviewed costs associated with reducing fourth-grade class sizes next school year.
LISD is one year into a phased approach at reducing teacher/student ratios at the elementary level, having addressed fifth grade in 2018–19. For 2019–20, the focus is on reducing class sizes in fourth grade from 24 to 22 students per classroom. If adopted in the budget process, the initiative will require hiring approximately 16 more fourth-grade teachers at a cost of $880,000.
“I’m so appreciative that the Board has taken such initiative in lowering our student-to-teacher ratios in elementary school,” said Superintendent Dan Troxell, Ph.D. “We’ve seen great results this school year in fifth grade and we anticipate similar outcomes in our efforts to do the same in fourth grade next school year.”
Meanwhile, the change in fiscal year will allow for more money on hand to support teachers at the beginning of school. The process would culminate in a change in 2020. The change does not result in any changes in the budget or tax rate processes.
Changing fiscal years should have numerous advantages for the district, including:
- Provides teachers and campuses with access to their budget allocations prior to school starting.
- Performance on the State financial accountability system.
- Provides one-time increase in fund balance by forgoing certain costs incurred in July and August.
- Aligns fiscal year with federal grants.
“I am excited about updating our fiscal year start date to July 1,” Trustee Elexis Grimes said. “This will better prepare our campuses for student arrival and give our staff the tools they need in order to complete that mission.”