Monday, June 10, 2013

Leander ISD: Employment & Budget Growth Outpaces Enrollment, Update: Citizens Launch Petition

LISD Proposed Budget Growth

A few weeks ago, the Austin American Statesman reported that the number of $100,000 plus earners at Central Texas school districts had jumped by 78%.  The story drew a good deal of deserved criticism of bloated superintendent/administrator salaries.  (Although the story only reported base salaries; when we include benefits, Round Rock ISD Superintendent Jesus Chavez’ total compensation jumps from $260,000 to over $304,000 annually.)
While troubling, the increased number of highly compensated employees wasn’t the most shocking statistic in the report.  At the very end of the story, the Statesman reported that in the Leander Independent School District, student enrollment growth has increased by 30% over the past five years, but during that same period employee growth was 82% and budget growth came in at 78%.
This is a stunning admission, especially considering that the LISD administration has just proposed $25 million in spending increases.  The district continues to struggle with mind-boggling $2.7 billion debt obligation, downgraded bond ratings, and ever-climbing property tax rates.

Sadly, the only tune we ever seem to hear from the public school community is “just give us more money.”  At what point will we require fiscal efficiency from these school districts?

Update:  Some local LISD citizens have launched an online petition asking for public discussion of the debt/finance issues.  The petition site states that the LISD Board President has refused to even permit discussion of anything other than "the good things happening in LISD."  Wow.

The petition can be found here.  

No comments: