Staff reports

At their March 25 meeting, the Belton ISD Board of Trustees adopted assumptions to guide the district’s budget planning for the 2024-25 fiscal year.

The 88th Legislature did not increase the basic allotment, which is the amount per student allocated to the district by the state.

Without an increase to the basic allotment, Belton ISD and other public-school districts across Texas are facing budgetary challenges due to 19 percent inflation, lower student attendance rates, a reduction in funding for Medicaid services, additional underfunded mandates, and the expiration of COVID-19 stimulus funding.

The way the budget works out is by estimations. The district receives an estimate of what the enrollment numbers may be in the future year. These numbers help determine what may be available in terms of funding.

Over the past 10 years enrollment in the Belton Independent District has increased each year. Those numbers have slowed since the pandemic and inflation. For the most part, BISD estimations of revenue and expense have been close to accurate.

The initial budget estimation is just that, an initial estimate. The initial estimate presented last night at the budgeting workshop was an $11.9 million deficit.

“The difficult financial situation facing Belton ISD is a byproduct of what the legislature failed to do in the past Session,” Board President Manuel Alcozer said. “Along with other factors, the Legislature refused to increase the basic allotment. The basic allotment has not increased in several years despite a pandemic and unprecedented inflation.”

The district will adopt its budget and tax rate in August.

The Board also approved canceling the Area 2 Trustee Election for May 4, 2024. Erin Bass, the Board Secretary representing Area 2, drew no opponent. Board Vice President Chris Flor is running for re-election to represent Area 4, with Leslie Ann Griggs Davis running for the same area.