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Aledo ISD Important Budget Update

March 8, 2024

 

aledo isd logoDear Bearcat Parents & Community - 

 

This letter is a follow-up to the communications we’ve shared with you over the last year and our email sent a couple of weeks ago regarding budget reductions.

 

As we have shared with you, we have been diligently working to address a projected $3.8 million budget shortfall due to the lack of additional funding from the state, limited reserves to tap into, and the impact of inflation just like you are experiencing at home. In addition to the reductions put in place for this 2023-2024 school year, today we are announcing more details about the budget reductions for the 2024-2025 school year to address this projected shortfall. We are not in this alone: campus closures, layoffs and other budget reduction items have been announced recently by school districts across the state.

 

Reducing the projected deficit has been extremely difficult, and we have additional, serious concerns about the 2025-2026 budget, as well. As you expect us to do, we have prioritized maintaining a culture of excellence and high levels of learning for all students, minimizing the impact on classrooms and student programs, protecting the experience of students wherever we can, and protecting our employees in AISD. But we also know that cutting nearly 5% of our $84.8 million budget (that is nearly 80% payroll/benefits for staff) will affect every student, staff member and campus in our district. While we are going to do our best to protect the student experience and staff well-being, we anticipate many challenges and ask for increased patience and prayers as we operate in this circumstance for at least the next two school years.

 

Our focus is on using our limited resources to support our greatest needs. 

 

Adjustments to staffing and provision of instruction and student programs

These budget reductions will require that we increase class sizes and adjust how we staff and deliver our athletics, fine arts, Career and Technical Education, library, counseling, nursing, academic intervention, English as a Second Language (ESL), Gifted and Talented (GT), and Special Education programming. We must reduce the number of instructional professionals we currently have providing academic intervention to students and supporting and coaching our classroom teachers. We will work to maintain the level of services that students require, but will have to adjust leadership and staff responsibilities and schedules in an effort to focus time and resources on the areas of identified greatest need. We are also restructuring the role of our librarians to provide direct literacy intervention and advanced reading instruction, further sharing their love of reading with our students.

 

We are reducing our staffing through attrition and not filling positions that were originally in our 2024-2025 budget for growth; no current employee will lose their employment with AISD due to the budget reductions. However, the above-mentioned adjustments will cause the positions and responsibilities of staff to change. 

 

What can I expect as a parent?

While we are trying to minimize the impact on students and know that our incredible Bearcat staff will continue to support, grow and love our students as they always do, these changes will impact every campus, department, staff member and student. We ask for your patience as we all work together to support our students with larger class sizes, changes to how services are delivered, reduced staffing for programs and courses, and increased staff workloads. 

 

Additional revenue sources for Aledo ISD

While the ability to create and expand additional revenue sources is limited, every bit counts, and we are exploring adjustments to revenue sources like athletic/UIL student participation fees, signage, sponsorship, advertising, merchandising, ticket sales, camps and facility rentals. We are also incredibly grateful for the partnership of the Aledo PTO and the Aledo Education Foundation for working hard to fill funding gaps through donations to our schools and district.  Any additional revenue is used to cover costs and is invested right back into serving our students.

 

This chart is a summary of the Aledo ISD 2023-2024 budget reductions as well as planned budget reductions for the 2024-2025 school year:

 

Phase I (2023-2024)

Estimated Savings

  • Districtwide operational budget reductions for all district and campus departments and functions, and additional specific reductions to include professional learning changes to reduce substitute costs, travel costs for staff development, energy usage reductions, overtime management, reduction of future positions planned for student growth.

$917,000

TOTAL PHASE I

$917,000*

*Aledo ISD reclassified approximately $260,000 in expenditures to reduce the general fund deficit for 2023-2024; therefore the total amount reduced from the general fund budget is $1.1 million.

 

Phase II (2024-2025)

 
  • Additional districtwide operational budget reductions for all district and campus departments and programs (including athletics and fine arts), and additional specific reductions to include energy usage reductions, copiers/print services and paper, overtime management, reduced student technology in PK-2 classrooms, substitute costs, human resources tools, surveys, student/staff travel, vehicle purchases.

 

  • Reduction of central office and administration/leadership positions.


  • Reduction of future positions originally planned for student growth and opening a new campus.


  • Reduction of current positions through attrition, class size increases and revision of staff schedules.


  • Restructure athletics, fine arts, library services, GT services, ESL services, special education, counseling, nursing, Career and Technical Education, and instructional support roles and responsibilities.

$1,039,000








$420,000



$907,000



$552,000



$438,000

TOTAL PHASE II

$3,356,000**

**Aledo ISD will reclassify approximately $466,000 in expenditures to reduce the general fund deficit; therefore the total amount reduced from the general fund budget will be $3.8 million.

 

Phase III (2025-2026)

 

Additional budget reductions will be determined by the spring of 2025

 

 

This work will continue throughout this school year and will carry over to next school year as we do not anticipate any additional funding for Texas public schools.

 

We know that public school funding is very complicated. We would invite you to watch Wednesday night’s Bearcat Budget 101 Facebook Live and review our budget webpage at www.aledoisd.org/budget if you are interested in learning more about public school funding in Texas and Aledo ISD. Hopefully you will gain some understanding about why AISD cannot continue to do more with less, and if you have more questions, please take the time to fill out this form so that we can compile your questions and use them to guide our budget reduction communications in the future. 

 

We are incredibly proud to be part of a community that is ALL IN for our students and schools - even during the most difficult times. Thank you.

 

We hope that you and your children have a restful, enjoyable and safe Spring Break. We’ll see students back in our classrooms on Tuesday, March 19, to start the last nine-week grading period for the 2023-2024 school year!

 

All In,

Susan Bohn, Superintendent

Aledo ISD Board of Trustees President Forrest Collins, Vice President Jessica Brown

Secretary David Lear, and Board Members Jennifer Loftin, Jennifer Taylor, Zach Tarrant and Hoyt Harris