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Austin ISD enrollment drops again, district set to lose millions of dollars in funding

The district's chief financial officer said the lower enrollment will cost the district $15 million in funding.

AUSTIN, Texas — Recent enrollment numbers at Austin ISD reveal that the district didn't meet its projections. They fell about 3,000 students short. Now they will also be losing millions in funding.

Alejandro Delgado, enrollment executive director at AISD, said Austin is growing, but this doesn't necessarily mean kids are part of that growth.

He said some families are leaving the city and moving to the suburbs. 

"Even though we're growing, affordability is driving families outside of Austin to neighboring districts," said Delgado.

These big moves are precisely the reason why AISD took a big hit. The district expected to have 77,000 students enrolled, but fell short by about 3,000.

"It is a very important aspect of our funding, whether kids are in our buildings and are choosing Austin ISD," added Delgado.

Eduardo Ramos, chief financial officer at AISD, said this shortfall will cost the district $15 million in funding.

That means there will be less revenue to work with. Ramos said 86% of the budget goes to payroll. That's where they've started making cuts.

"The way that we've been doing that is through vacancies," said Ramos "As vacancies occur, we do evaluate every vacancy that occurs in the district and decide whether that vacancy is needed and is a priority."

He said there will be no layoffs, and they're doing their best to protect staffing and resources in classrooms.

"One of the areas that we're really looking at is our operations and our department budgets, just to make sure that we focus on the operational side versus the instructional side," added Ramos.

In 2020, the KVUE Defenders reported the district recorded its biggest drop in enrollment by more than 5,600 students.

The district hopes that enrollment numbers improve for the next school year.

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