Northwest ISD sets aside nearly $4.3 million in 2024-25 budget for hiring teachers
Facing a surge in student enrollment, Northwest ISD is setting the stage for the district’s response.
Northwest ISD anticipates an increase of nearly 2,000 students for the next school year. During a Jan. 22 meeting, the school board reviewed plans to earmark nearly $4.3 million at least for the hiring of teachers and school staff.
After a Feb. 5 board workshop, that number could be higher, according to Kim Barker, the district’s assistant superintendent for human resources.
“It’s ensuring that we are staffing efficiently on the campuses and ensuring that we have the right staffing in place to hire for the needs of our students,” Barker said.
The district plans to add 45 positions for elementary and pre-K staff, with construction of Perrin Elementary scheduled for completion in August and a new Early Childhood Center on the horizon.
The hope is to keep pre-K student-to-faculty ratios at 20-to-1 and elementary ratios at 25-to-1 or lower. The district plans to reserve nearly $3.2 million in next year’s budget for these hires.
Breakdown of Northwest ISD student-to-faculty ratio staffing guidelines:
- Pre-K: 20-to-1
- Kindergarten to third grade: 22-to-1
- Fourth grade: 24-to-1
- Fifth grade: 25-to-1
- Secondary (middle and high school): 16.5-to-1
The district also set aside $1.1 million for the hiring of 15 secondary staff positions. Northwest ISD doesn’t plan to open any new high school or middle school campuses next year.
“We’re finding campuses opening at 850 capacity and then growing,” Barker said, referencing C.W. Worthington Middle School, which opened in August 2023.
Hiring specifically for these growing schools will keep student-to-faculty ratios at 16.5-to-1.
Emergent bilingual students and students identified as needing special education are the district’s two fastest-growing student groups, Superintendent Mark Foust said. The district is proposing at least 45 additional support positions for disability education services, bilingual services and more.
“Many of these 45 positions are directly related to special ed and serving students under the umbrella of special ed,” Foust said. “Because it’s directly related to growth, we’d like to go ahead and include that in the growth budget.”
The cost of hiring the new support positions is still to be determined, Barker said.
District officials likely will determine that amount at the Feb. 5 workshop. The growth budget is expected to be approved later in February. The 2024-25 budget is expected to be approved later this year.
“The sooner we can start posting and hiring those sometimes hard-to-fill positions, the better,” Foust said.
Matthew Sgroi is an education reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or @MatthewSgroi1 on X, formerly known as Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.