The Socorro ISD is in financial freefall. Chief Financial Officer Vicki Perez has already confirmed that between the current fiscal year and next fiscal year, the District faces a combined budget deficit of $74.2 million, not including the $26.3 million in cost overruns on the 2017 bond.

To make matters far worse, at the SISD Workshop this past Monday, Perez presented a chart (starting at 4:11) showing that the average daily attendance of the District is projected to decrease by approximately 3,496 students, from 45,997 to 42,501, a one-year drop of 7.6%.

Based upon the $6,160 basic per-student allotment, that would translate to a loss of $21,535,360 in revenue from the state of Texas.

It is not clear whether this catastrophic drop, which dwarfs the 1,000-student decrease announced by YISD, is factored into the projected $41 million deficit for FY 2024-25.

Perez spent 31 seconds making a series of incoherent remarks as she showed the Board of Trustees her chart, and shortly after demographer Justin Rich wasted 28 minutes explaining the methodology of the enrollment calculations.


This morning we asked SISD Trustees Ricardo Castellano of District 3 and Pablo Barrera of District 5 whether they are concerned about the projected enrollment decrease.

Castellano stated, “I am absolutely concerned by this drop. Looking at the past two meetings, we made no serious attempt to address this issue as well as the amount of money being spent on personnel. We’re going to enter into a new fiscal year with a deficit budget, and that can be prevented. We are not being true to the taxpayer. There is a lack of transparency.”

Barrera added, “It’s detrimental to the students, the community, and the taxpayers of Socorro. There are ways to balance the budget in a manner that will support our teachers and facilitate teaching our students effectively.”

Both men attribute the enrollment decline to an exodus of SISD students to other school districts and to charter schools and to the increasing popularity of homeschooling.

They believe that at least $20 million can be cut from the 2024-25 budget if their Board colleagues find the courage to make the necessary tough decisions.

Castellano has little confidence in the ability of SISD to meet the financial challenge, telling us “The District wants the taxpayers to shoulder their incompetence.”