Fort Bend ISD officials continue exploring money-saving options to …

FBISD adopted a $12 million budget deficit into its fiscal year 2017-18 budget in June.

WHAT WE REPORTED: The school district faces a budget shortfall of $12 million in its fiscal year 2017-18 budget due to legislative inaction, FBISD Budget Director Bryan Guinn said. Focus groups have generated several ideas to help close the budget gap, including conserving energy, reallocating teachers between campuses, evaluating free and reduced cost lunch programs, and eliminating unnecessary vacant positions. As FBISD officials engage with the community and meet with stakeholder groups, they will continue discussions regarding potential solutions and present these ideas to residents for input and feedback starting in January, Guinn said.

THE LATEST: FBISD staff has updated the prioritized list of budget efficiency ideas generated from feedback provided by employees and community members, Superintendent Charles Dupre stated in a post on the FBISD website Dec. 15. The top priority item concerns—energy conservation and efforts—will be implemented immediately, Dupre said. Energy conservation company Cenergistic indicated the school district can save at least $1.5 million in the first year of implementation. Other ideas identified on the list include limiting the usage of outside consultants, lowering certain departmental budgets, decreasing printed materials and distribution, reducing staff travel costs, and increasing some charges and fees.

WHAT’S NEXT: Staff members and officials are still studying cost estimates and the overall effects of enforcing these ideas, Dupre said.

“Not all of the items that remain on the prioritized list will move forward for implementation,” he said. “In several cases, I am appointing task forces to explore the potential impacts implementation of the ideas will have on our district as they relate to student achievement.”

This story is one update from The January Issue. View the full list of Top 7 stories to follow in 2018 here.

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