News from Dr. Cruz: Budgeting for student success

Team AISD,

At AISD, there is nothing more important than student success. It's a priority in everything we do, including our district's $1 billion budget.

Our budget is intentionally built to fund the people, programs and training that prepare students to achieve their best.

This year's recommended budget includes a 4 percent salary increase for full-time employees and raising our minimum wage to $13 per hour. Programmatic investments include enhanced literacy and dyslexia trainings and continued funding of SEL.

We're also to the implementation stage of Professional Pathways for Teachers. PPfT gives teachers opportunities to increase their earning capacity in a way that is directly tied to student success, and it will support teachers in their professional growth.

These budget priorities are increasingly important given the financial landscape. This month, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that, despite the imperfections of the school finance system, it meets minimum constitutional requirements. The ruling has various implications for AISD. As you know, we will continue to pay recapture—to the tune of a projected $406 million in our next budget. 

As the court's ruling encourages, we will continue working with our local delegation to identify resources to provide students with the supports they need and deserve.

Although our budget may change year to year, our most valuable asset is always the AISD family. Whether you drive students to school, make sure they have a nourishing meal, keep their schools running smoothly or are with them in the classroom, thank you for all you do. 

It's because of your support that our students are achieving excellence.

Paul Cruz, Ph.D.