DISD proposes $1.69M budget deficit

Staff Writer
Herald Democrat
The Denison  Independent School District is proposing a $1.69 million deficit budget, including nearly $600,000 in spending related to its COVID-19 response.

The Denison Independent School District is projecting a deficit budget for the 2020-2021 school year amid proposed pay increases and increased spending related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The district board of trustees is expected to receive and consider the proposed draft budget when it meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

DISD Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Randy Reid said it is common for districts and municipalities to draft deficit budgets and have the numbers correct themselves throughout the year.

“When we run our budgets and calculate our budgets, we are usually very conservative on out revenue side and then we typically go higher than expected on the expenses side, and that is why we typically have a deficit budget,” he said.

For the upcoming year, the district is projecting a $1.69 million deficit, with $62.22 million in spending and $60.53 in revenue.

Revenues from local sources are expected to increase due to property taxes. The district is anticipating about a 4.6 percent increase in tax revenue, primarily from new property and values.

On the state side, Reid said the district is expecting revenues to remain flat aside from $1 million that the district will not be receiving related to fast growth districts.

Among the expenses for this year is a proposed increase in pay for teachers and other district staff. Educators can expect a $500 increase to each career step, while other district staff should see a 2 percent increase, Reid said.

This represents one of the largest expense increases for the year, as payroll represents 75 percent of the budget.

The district is also anticipating nearly $600,000 in additional expenses related to its COVID-19 response, including suppies and additional expenses. The district plans to also invest in about 1,500 new laptops and internet hot spots to help students who will start their courses remotely this fall.

With these expenses, Reid said there is some room for the district to recoup its costs.

In other matters, the district will consider bids related to the renovations at Mayes and Hyde Park Elementary Schools. For information on the virtual meeting, please visit https://www.denisonisd.net/boardmeeting.