LISD State of the District

Educational dollars defined,
Looking at school culture

Four Points News

Leander ISD is spending more than $8,000 for each of it 38,226 students, said Superintendent Dan Troxell to a crowd of more than 200 gathered for the annual LISD “State of the District”.

Sponsored by Leander ISD Educational Excellence Foundation, the annual event was held on Feb. 17 at Hill Country Bible Church, Lakeline.

This is the second of two reports on the meeting in which Troxell presented a summary of facts and figures available on the district. This report covers details provided on the LISD budget as well as information related to student culture.

Making sense of educational dollars

LISD has an operating budget of $321.3 million from which it spends $8,258 per student, said Troxell.

In 2014, Texas school systems spent an average of $8,593 per pupil, according to a report issued last June by the Educational Finance Branch of the U.S. Census Bureau.

LISD expenditure per dollar breaks down as follows

• 0.59 teachers,
• 0.10 custodial /maintenance,
• 0.06 each for campus office staff and district staff,
• 0.04 each for counselors and curriculum,
• 0.03 each for extracurricular support, bus services and electricity,
• 0.01 each for safety services and library services.

About 85 percent of the district’s budget goes to payroll costs. Most district payrolls equal about 80 percent of their budget, said Troxell.

“LISD’s is higher because we’re putting money into the classroom for our teachers. We not only want to attract the very best, we want to retain the very best. In order to do that, you’ve got to pay for excellence,” he said.

LISD has 2,717 teachers on its roster of 4,938 employees.

Inside LISD, A look at culture

Troxell reported he has spent the last six months riding school buses, eating in school cafeterias and touring campuses. This is his first year as LISD superintendent.

“What I see in this district is phenomenal kids,” he said.

Noting opportunities through school clubs and programs in which students contribute to the community, engaging with nursing home patients or mentoring programs, Troxell said,“Our kids give back in so many ways and as a professional educator it makes me proud of them and proud to be a part of guiding their educational process.”

Furthermore, 83 percent of district middle and high school students also participate in extracurricular activities, defined as UIL sanctioned events and competitions.

Robotics clubs are among UIL offerings that are popular and available at all LISD high schools.

At least one robotics team from Vandegrift High School has placed at the FIRST Robotics FTC World Championship for four years, Troxell remarked.

He also recognized VHS as the winner of the 2016 5A UIL Lone Star Cup for the second time in two years. The Lone Star Cup is awarded based on a school’s team performance in district and state championships in athletics, fine arts and academics.

Finally, all 41 campuses and the administration have earned No Place For Hate designation to make LISD a NP4H district.

“Hate is not something that can be tolerated in our school system, and in society, we’re becoming far too intolerant of each other. We want to teach this generation of kids to be loving and caring and kind and tolerant,” Troxell said as the audience applauded.

For a copy of the 2017 State of the District report, go to