The School Board and the Staff of SISD are facing a very daunting task in the next couple of months. The State of Texas is under severe economic hardship with a $27 billion shortfall this biennium. The largest portion of the State budget goes to Education and Health and Human Services. Therefore the largest projected cuts will come to these two areas.
For Sweetwater ISD, the House version of the next State budget calls for a $1.8 million reduction in funding or approximately 12%. How does this affect the $16.5 million budget of the District? Profoundly! Every employee of SISD contributes to the educational success of our students. Non-teachers in our district include the bus drivers, nurses, cafeteria staff, librarians, secretaries, classroom support, and the central office personnel. It takes all of these people along with the dedicated teachers to prepare children for the future.
Our District has experienced decreased student enrollment (which leads to less funding) over the last decade along with a target revenue funding system which has frozen the amount schools receive despite spiraling energy costs, increased salaries and complying with unfunded mandates. Through all of this, Sweetwater ISD has continued to offer an Exemplary education to its students and competitive compensation to its Staff.
If and when cuts need to be made, the SISD School Board will prioritize these cuts and think of children and Staff first.
We will have school in Sweetwater and we will always continue to strive for excellence despite these budget woes, despite the failure of the Legislature to make use of the Rainy Day Fund, and despite the lack of funding they will send.