Trustees Continue Budget Planning, Get HR, Academic Updates

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At the April 4 regular meeting, RISD trustees continued 2024-25 operating budget planning discussions, hearing presentations about RISD’s adoption of a staffing model and also projected increased operating costs for next year.

Standard Staffing Model

Trustees heard from RISD Human Resources about the adoption of a new staffing model that will help guide staff allocations moving forward. The model will be based on student enrollment at schools, but will also allow flexibility for staffing based on student needs, special programming and campus needs. Generally speaking, allocations for positions like teachers, assistant principals, and counselors assigned to a school will be based on the total number of students enrolled at a school and then extenuating factors will be considered.

Other positions, like principals, nurses, and librarians (LITEs) would have allocations based on campus type (elementary, middle or high school). The draft model was developed after a staffing study was conducted by TASB (Texas Association of School Boards) and researching peer district models. The development of a standard model to realize efficiencies in hiring and staffing was also one of nine recommendations from the community budget steering committee in December 2023. Next steps for Human Resources include phasing in the guidelines and developing/extending the standard staffing model to central and support positions.

Watch the staffing model presentation and discussion.

Higher Operating Costs Anticipated

Trustees also heard a presentation from RISD Budget and Finance about anticipated area of increased operating costs for 2024-25, including:

  • Insurance costs continue to rise dramatically. Worker’s compensation and property insurance is expected to increase again for 2024-25 by $1.4 million.
  • Special education staff increases to serve students with special needs – $1.2 million increase
  • Elementary campus security officers (state mandate) – $2.2 million increase
  • Utilities cost increases – $450,000
  • Child Learning Academies – increased costs associated primarily with the opening of the third and final CLA, serving employee children in the Berkner and Lake Highlands areas – $800,000

Next steps in the budget planning process at the next meeting include discussions and scenarios about teacher and employee compensation increases for 2024-25 as part of the district’s goal of recruiting and retaining high quality staff.

Watch the budget presentation and discussion.

Update on Middle of the Year MAP

RISD’s middle of the year Measures of Academic Progress or MAP, data showed that RISD met the national norm of 50% or more meeting their projected individual growth goal for students between this winter’s assessments and the assessments given last fall in reading and math for in grades K through 8.

Senior Executive Director of Accountability and Continuous Improvement, Gina Ortiz, said RISD remains committed to high-quality, Tier 1 instruction with a focus on identified priority TEKS to ensure growth and mastery for every student. The MOY data in the progress monitoring assessments in PK through grade 8 shows above average growth, staying true to RISD’s North Star Goal to meet or exceed every student’s academic growth goal.

Watch the MAP presentation.

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Trustees Reorganize, Discuss MAP Data, Teacher Survey, Cell Phone Policy

At the June 6 board work session, RISD shared two end of year performance metrics with trustees, including end of year MAP results and data from RISD’s annual climate survey of teachers, which informed a discussion about the district’s cellphone-free policy for students. In addition, trustees were sworn in and reorganized for 2024-25.