KISD finalizes $556 million budget deal

Taral Patel, News Editor

The Katy Independent School District Board of Trustees agreed on the proposed budget on Aug. 29, which called for $563 million in revenues and $556 million in expenditures for the current school year.

Katy ISD and other school districts across Texas are facing smaller budgets due to the $4 billion slash on public education decided upon by the state legislature.  Thus, Katy ISD is faced with a budget cut of almost $27 million.

“Since the budget shrunk, it seems the school is taking plenty of methods to cut costs and alleviate the problem,” senior Rey Ramirez said. “Teachers are still going to be overburdened by massive classes which do directly affect their ability to give constructive feedback to the students.”

Not only have certain class sizes increased, but some teachers are even faced with extra periods of students that result in a larger time investment by teachers to grade, evaluate, and provide feedback to students on assignments. Some teachers have also chosen to utilize more online technology to cover certain topics to prevent themselves from becoming overwhelmed.

“Most of [the English teachers] were already grading and planning at least one full day of our weekend. We used our study hall duty to grade papers, too. Now we must either assign less writing or give up more of our family time,” 10th grade English teacher Marcia Simmons said. “We are looking for ways to ‘grade smarter’–shorter writing assignments, rubrics focusing on one or two skills, allowing to grade grammar–accomplishing what we need to get done for your sake without sacrificing our sanity.”

Katy ISD is not only cutting back on teachers, staff, and administrators, but also in other areas such as air conditioning. The air conditioning in classrooms at Cinco will automatically turn off at 2:50 p.m. every day unless a request to keep it on is filed by a teacher.

“Facing a major financial reduction is never an easy situation, and there were many areas where we had to cut back,” said Katy ISD Superintendent Alton Frailey in a statement released by the district. “However, at the end of the day, we have found a way to reduce spending while increasing the fund balance and, more importantly, eliminate any major negative impacts to student learning.”