APS board approves 2024-25 budget of $113.9 million

Published 11:34 am Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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The Austin Public Schools Board on Monday night during a special meeting unanimously voted to approve the adopted budget for 2024-2025.

The budget amounts to a 1.3% increase from last year and will total $113,920,900. It also maintains a strong fund balance that exceeds the board’s required minimum of 8.33% at 11.94%.

Enrollment is a key focus of budget discussions as it drives 81% of the district’s revenue. Although current numbers are predicting a 1.86% decrease from last year, Executive Director of Finance and Operations Tod Lechtenberg said the district is choosing to go conservative with its predictions.

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“We are actively analyzing trends and forecasting for the next three to five years,” he said in an email to the Herald. “Although we saw an increase in enrollment last year, breaking from previous years, we have used conservative estimates for the 2024-25 academic year to mitigate the risks associated with potential summer fluctuations.”

Lechtenberg said it was a measured approach to the budget that allows the district to manage fluctuations while at the same time maintains financial stability.

However, that’s not to say there weren’t challenges, particularly in the way of a 24% increase to health insurance premiums, which Lechtenberg said were driven by higher utilization and escalating costs from medical providers.

“To maintain our commitment to supporting our staff, the board approved a 10% increase in employee premiums, with the district absorbing the additional 14% using our fund reserves,” he said.”