Alamo Heights, Northside ISDs pass conservative budgets as State funding cuts loom

As school districts prepare for the 2020-21 financial year and beyond, San Antonio public school leaders continue to emphasize the need for conservative budgeting.

“We are in a situation right now … where we are facing some dire straits,” said Dana Bashara, Alamo Heights Independent School District superintendent. “It is very comparable to the situation that we faced back in 2011 when the state was at a point of deficit and there were no additional revenue streams that had been identified.”

At a school board meeting Thursday night, Bashara pointed to a recent statement by Comptroller Glenn Hegar wherein he forecast a $4.6 billion deficit. Last October, Hegar estimated the State would have a nearly $3 billion surplus to work with going into the 2021 legislative session.

Bashara said this next year would likely feature similarly tough conversations about where cuts could be made.

With this gloomy financial outlook on the horizon, Alamo Heights board members voted to approve what district staff called a conservative budget with a deficit of roughly $1.1 million.

The budget did not include any compensation increases but did allocate $430,000 for a few additional hires including seven custodians, a high school assistant principal, a language teacher, and seven full-time substitute teachers.

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