Dallas ISD is proposing a $1.3 billion budget for the 2015-2016 school year that would increase teacher salaries on average by $2,300, provide a 3 percent raise for non-teaching staff, continue to implement several new initiatives and keep the tax rate the same.
District officials presented the proposed budget to the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees during a workshop on Thursday, May 14. Trustees will discuss the proposed budget again during the June 11 Board Briefing, and are slated to adopt the budget on June 25. Six town hall meetings will also be held so that the public can learn more about the budget and provide input. (see schedule below)
About 81 percent of the proposed budget would fund salaries and benefits ($1.048 billion), with the remaining 19 percent representing all other expenses ($251 million). Dallas ISD’s tax rate would remain the same as it is now under next year’s budget, at $1.04 for maintenance and operations and $0.24 for debt service, per $100 valuation. An expected 8.5 percent increase in local taxable values would generate additional revenue to allow the district to support various initiatives.
Salary and benefit expenses would increase by approximately $31 million, which includes increases in teacher salaries on average by 4.3 percent as part of Dallas ISD’s innovative Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI). The proposed budget includes a 3 percent raise for teachers and staff not on TEI, including related instructional employees; professional support; support staff; food services/custodians; maintenance operations; police and security; and central administration. The proposed budget also allocates an additional $7.3 million to support early childhood programs, which would allow the district to serve up to 860 more children in pre-Kindergarten next year.
“Support for the first year of TEI is central to the creation of this year’s budget,” Chief Financial Officer Jim Terry said. “TEI has enormous potential to set Dallas ISD significantly apart from other school districts in terms of teacher compensation, but also in ensuring that there is an effective teacher in every classroom. More than that, this budget allows additional teaching positions and more support for early childhood programs.”
Enrollment is expected to increase next year by about 1,500 students. In addition, the district projects to add 104 teaching positions next year, in part to keep up with student enrollment growth and to open new schools as part of the Bridge Plan approved by the board in March.
Budget Town Hall Meetings, set for 6-7 p.m. each evening:
- Leonides Cigarroa Elementary School, Tuesday, May 26
- John Q. Adams Elementary School, Wednesday, May 27
- Jimmie Tyler Brashear Elementary School, Monday, June 1
- Eduardo Mata Elementary School, Tuesday, June 2
- Raul Quintanilla Sr. Middle School, Wednesday, June 3
- Wilmer-Hutchins High School, Thursday, June 4