Spring Branch ISD eliminating 304 positions due to budget cuts for 2024-2025 school year

SPRING BRANCH – Spring Branch Independent School District has started Phase III in reductions to help close the district’s $35 million general fund budget gap for the 2024-2025 school year.

Over the past several months, the district has taken action on the first two phases to save a projected $12.5 million in savings. These budgets include, but are not limited to, closure of two schools, discontinuation of the SKY partnership with YES Prep Public Schools and KIPP Texas, Inc., change in secondary staffing ratios and alignment of schedules, increase in pre-K tuition for non-employees, and restructure of the SPIRAL gifted and talented program.

Superintendent Jennifer Blaine said the district was forced to take these actions after the 88th Legislative Session and four special sessions of the Texas Legislature concluded without the educational funding challenges of Texas public school districts being addressed.

“They haven’t acted on public funding, public education funding,” Blaine said. “They’ve tied funding to vouchers and the absences of having vouchers they won’t fund public education. So, there’s been no new funding since 2019. We have 19 percent inflation and that has created a budget issue for lots of school districts.”

Blaine explained the third phase of general fund reductions, for which she says impacted staff, including school librarians, have been notified. These are largely central office budget cuts and personnel and program model changes.

The district said it has done everything it could to minimize direct impact on its classrooms and student learning, however, with the magnitude of reductions and adjustments, all schools will be impacted.

“These sweeping cuts absolutely feel like a crisis. It feels like we were unprepared,” said Ben Drews, a parent with a third grader in the district. “Nobody said anything about firing every librarian in this district.”

Drews, who is running for a role on the board of trustees, feels the district didn’t appropriate plan for this moment.

“Obviously, nobody wants to make any cuts. Nobody wants that,” he said. “We all understand that these cuts now have to happen in order for our district to move on. But could we have been doing things five years ago? Could we have done things six years ago? That’s the question I have, was their leadership and planning going into that?”

Blaine told KPRC 2′s Rilwan Balogun they were hoping for additional funding from lawmakers in the face of inflation.

She said her team along with families in the district continue advocating for the district with state leaders.

With the latest announcement, the district anticipates losing 304 personnel through their three-phase budget reduction equating to about $22.5 million.

“Many of those staffs in Phases I and II are being deployed to different positions in the system,” Blaine said. “And our goal is to do that with all 304 of those positions that were listed in the phase three budget reduction.”

“Our goal is to take those highly trained individuals and slide them into a vacant position that will be open. So, as somebody leaves, retires, exits the system, decides to go into a different profession, any number of reasons we have people leave every year we have attrition, Blaine said. “Our goal is to have people in positions into which they’re certified so they can continue to serve our kids.”

The district will also restructure their athletic trainers by removing them from each school and making the roles more centralized.

“We reworked their job description and then those staff members will be deployed to athletic events to cover those games,” said Blaine. “We’ve eliminated very little out of the system, but we have thought different about how to provide services which you know can make people uncomfortable when you’re used to a certain thing.”

The district shared a summary of Phase I, II and III Budget Reductions for 2024-25 school year:

Budget reduction summary (Spring Branch ISD)
Budget reduction summary (Spring Branch ISD)
Budget reduction summary (Spring Branch ISD)


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