A new normal for RISD?

Rockdale ISD, like most Texas School districts is facing a budget shortfall due to inadequacy in the state funding formula. Below are some facts about school district funding and budgets:

State f unding is based on student enrollment and attendance.

A common misconcept ion is that property value growth means more money for school districts. This is not the case. As property values – and taxes – increase, the amount of state funding to the district is reduced to offset that gain.

More than 60 percent of school districts in the state are operating on a budget shortfall, pulling money from their reser ve funds to cover daily expenses. The state funding system is broken, which is why Rockdale ISD has joined hundreds of districts in filing suit against the state. A year ago our district decided to use some of our reser ve f unds for the current year budget in order to protect the classroom.

The cuts from the state, combined with recapture payments to the state and a loss of student s f rom our d ist r ic t ha s significantly reduced our revenues. Rockdale ISD can not continue to operate and remain financially sound without making significant changes to our maintenance and operations budget.

It is estimated that $2 million dollars must be cut from the 2012-2013 budget. Our priorities are:

• Protect the integrity of instructional programs. • Fulfill the state-mandated requirements for the new STAAR testing program.

• Hire and retain the best teachers for our students.

• C ont inue to prov ide for the safety and security of our students.

• Tend to the daily costs of operating a district of 1,600 students spread over four campuses.

It is the district’s desire to seek input from parents and taxpayers for potential budget reductions. We are placing a survey for staff, students and community members to complete on our website

Please take a few minutes to complete the survey so that we can work together to insure that the children of Rockdale ISD continue to receive the highest quality learning experience.

If you have any additional comments or questions after completing the survey, please contact us at

We value your input. Thank you for giving thoughtful consideration to this process.

The sur vey is for informational purposes only. With the exception of personnel reductions no decisions have been made by the district at this time regarding next year’s budget.

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2012-03-29 digital edition

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