AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees passed a $1.65 billion budget for the fiscal year 2021 at Monday’s regular meeting.
The approved budget includes a big dip into the general fund reserves of $44.22 million to make up for an anticipated shortfall in the general fund budget, and gives a 2% cost of living adjustment for all employees and a $500 stipend for “hero workers,” which are classified staff who have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
General fund expenditures total $1.47 billion, while the food service budget is $24.89 million and the debt service budget was approved for $153.46 million.
The budget also included nearly $30 million in decreases, and the district is expecting more than $7 million in federal and state COVID-19 aid.
Also at the meeting, if families choose to have their students take classes 100% online, AISD superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz says they’ll be allowed to do so, but only if they fit certain criteria.
“We are great in-person. And I think we do our best work when in the classroom,” Dr. Cruz said. “But we will provide some choice to our parents, given health conditions.”