PFLUGERVILLE (KXAN) — Pflugerville Independent School District will open its doors to more than 25,000 students for the start of the school year Tuesday this morning.

As kids head back to campus, the district is facing a multimillion-dollar budget deficit. This is causing staffing shortages, crowded classrooms and consideration to close several elementary schools.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, enrollment and attendance have dropped in PfISD.

As a recapture district, this means less money coming from the state of Texas.

Last spring, there was $180,000 worth of unpaid lunch charges owed to PfISD.

In April, the district put in place a policy that any students owing more than $6 in their school lunch account had their main entrée taken away and substituted with a sandwich.

With this in mind, two brothers at Hendrickson High School created a nonprofit and raised over $12,000 to make sure their peers no longer receive an alternative lunch.

The boy’s mother, Corey Ann Amador, has concerns with the district’s decline.

“My son said he was in a class with 38 kids, and that’s really large for a high school class,” she said.

“They didn’t have enough desks, they had to bring in tables and there were several kids to one table. Just so people could have a place to sit because for the first couple of days, kids had to stand.”

KXAN reached out to PfISD, which said it paid off the remaining $109,000 lunch balance.

This means all students will start the school year with a $0 lunch balance, but once their meal debt reaches $7, students will receive an alternate entrée.

Amador isn’t pleased with the way this was handled.

“It’s very frustrating because I honestly believed that when my boys started this nonprofit, we would be a team,” she said. “We are doing something that not only helps every child in the district but especially helps Pflugerville ISD.”

According to PfISD, it paid off its lunch debt through its maintenance and operations fund.

This is the same fund used to pay for salaries, electricity and other day-to-day expenses.

At Thursday night’s school board meeting, district leaders may call for a Voter-Approval Tax Rate Election (VATRE), which could provide some financial relief.

To donate directly to the boys’ nonprofit, you can visit the Pfood Pfairness website.