Frisco ISD delays opening new schools due to budget deficit

Richard Ray reports.

- The Frisco ISD school board voted Monday night to delay the opening of four new schools due to budget cuts.

The school board voted one-by-one to delay the openings of four schools currently under construction: Memorial High School, Lawler Middle School, Talley Elementary and Liscano Elementary.

Initially, the projects were set to open in time for the 2017-2018 school year.

The school board decided on the delay to help close a $30 million budget shortfall and the elimination of a state fund next year. Voters recently rejected a property tax increase that would've helped.

Four of the district’s elementary schools currently exceed the 760 student capacity and one high school is beyond the 2100 student capacity.

Some parents weighing in say the schools are definitely needed. They just feel the answer shouldn't come from a tax hike.

"I think they should have planned a little bit more wisely and not hit the taxpayers up for something like that,” said parent Chris Kassay. “If they really wanted to be part of that whole Cowboys thing, maybe the Cowboys should've kicked in for a larger percentage of that instead of us having to take care of it ourselves."

"We had to vote yes or no depending on what your thoughts and ideas were. It's a really hard decision since the taxes continue to increase,” said parent Michelle Young. “A lot of people had a hard time making those decisions because there is a need, but there's also that financial demand as well."

The four new schools will not open until 2018.

It has been said delaying the opening of the new schools along with a salary freeze could save roughly $18 million. Other options include delaying the opening of one or more of the campuses.

School officials said they will discuss salary freezes for staff members at a later date.

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