The Llano I.S.D. Board of Trustees adopted an updated financial plan for the district at its November meeting. The plan was unanimously recommended by the administrative team. When the legislature adopted the current business tax in 2006, resulting in a structural deficit, the Board implemented financial measures designed to allow the district to remain financially sound through the 2013 legislative session.
Although this plan has worked quite well, district officials are concerned that the Texas Legislature may not restore the $5.4 billion education cuts imposed by the legislature in 2011. The main objective of the plan adopted y the Board of Trustees is to keep two months operating expense available in fund balance through the end of the 2016 fiscal year while minimizing the impact on instruction.
Two months operating expense held in reserve is the minimum recommended by the Texas Education Agency. On average, approximately 80% of ongoing expenditures in schools (including Llano I.S.D.) are for employee salaries. Superintendent Hill told the Board that some reduction in staff would be unavoidable should the legislature choose to continue the dramatic cuts instituted in 2011.
Because the administration believes strongly that programs and services for students are inextricably tied to education staff, the plan advocates action beginning in the spring of 2013, allowing the district to save 20-25 positions over the next three years. Hill said, “Reducing positions now will have the effect of saving educational programs and services for our students for the foreseeable future.”
The Board of Trustees and the administration emphasized the need to retain flexibility in the plan because multiple opportunities exist for the legislature or courts to intervene in the interim of time between now and the end of fiscal year 2016.