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Posts Tagged ‘Arlington ISD’

Arlington school board says no tax increase…for now

Posted by Texas Education on August 12, 2008

It looks like some districts are getting by without a hike. If only we could be so lucky, um…

If something as serious as deciding whether to increase taxes can be described like a poker game, the Arlington school board tipped its hand Thursday night.

No tax increase.

There are more cards to be dealt. Board members could change their minds later this month.

It was a tense discussion. They had to meet a legal deadline for advertising an Aug. 21 budget hearing. They don’t have to adopt the tax rate that they advertise, but they can’t legally set a rate that’s higher. The ad is expected to be in Monday’s newspaper.

If they change their minds later, they’ll have to publish another ad.

Call it a gut check. Trustee Wayne Ogle said that publishing a higher rate would send a signal that they are “at least on some level” considering a tax increase. Trustee Gloria Pena offered a motion to delay the decision a week.

No second. Pena offered another motion: Publish an ad showing no tax increase.

That one passed 6-1. Trustee Mike O’Donnell voted against it, saying he first wanted to hear ideas for resolving the current multimillion-dollar budget deficit. Trustee Sherri Wade said she won’t vote for a tax increase, no matter what.

Budget deficits bedevil many Texas school districts this year. The Legislature’s 2006 school finance law pushes districts to sharply cut spending or raise taxes to cover increased costs.

O’Donnell had the right approach. It’s silly to make this decision without facts. Updated numbers show a deficit of $17.9 million, and that doesn’t include a pay raise for teachers and other employees that would add $9.4 million more.

From the Star-Telegram.com

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In-the-News

Posted by Texas Education on June 13, 2008

Well, a few things in the news right now. HISD may open its borders to boost declining enrollment was in the Chronicle recently. (I meant to blog on that sooner.) This, to me, seems like a worthwhile effort to increase enrollment for faltering ISD’s. Especially since enrollment has fallen and they expect it to continue on that path. Board member Manuel Rodriguez says: “This will be a good move to help grow some of the student population.” They have stipulations though, which I also agree is worthwhile, must have good behavior and attendance would be mandatory. I’m not real sure if Humble would be at any advantage on this, as any new students, we create a deficit, as pointed out in Dr. Sconzo’s budget powerpoint. We lose roughly $2,000 for each new student to the district. I’m pretty sure that is the same scenario for most of the districts that are struggling. I found this information on a great website TexasISD.com. Another great place for what’s happening in-the-news. On the legislative page, State Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, says, “property taxes and school funding in Texas are worse now than when lawmakers began tinkering with the problems again four years ago.” [ View Article ] Wow, slap me in the face why don’t ya?

Dr. Diane Trautman recently said to me that, “We had the chance two years ago to stop this by voting against Crabb and putting in a pro-education candidate, but no one seemed to understand the urgency two years ago and now here we are at this cross roads. Indeed we must contact our legislators and inform them that their time in office is short unless they put public school funding at the top of the agenda this January! And then vote them out if they don’t!”

So, to all those who are in office, or are running for office, you are on notice, not like I have to tell any of them at this point, Though, it still seems as though Perry, Craddick, Crabb, just to mention a few, still aren’t hearing us, apparently. You can also check out TexasISD.com’s school finance section. Whew, that’s an eye full.

  • Arlington school district faces shortfall of $20 million
  • Corpus Christi: CCISD May Need Extra $200,000 For Gas In 2008-09 School Year
  • Cost of replacing football field adds to Wimberley school money woes
  • Cy-Fair ISD cuts staff, spending – and boy do they have some woes
  • Edcouch-Elsa schools to ask for $4.5 million loan to keep afloat
  • School board cuts become clearer for Humble ISD
  • Ennis: EISD pool will stay closed

Wow! And Rep. Beverly Woolley of House District 136 in the Memorial area said she had been assured by Rep. Rob Eissler of The Woodlands, chairman of the House public schools committee, that school funding would be reviewed when the Legislature convenes in 2009.

“I don’t think there’s even a slight possibility that we would let the school districts become insolvent,” she said.

She said that “as a Republican,” she likes Patrick’s call more funding education from sales tax revenues rather than property tax, but also suggested that school districts need to watch their spending. (this was from the Memorial Examiner on April 18, 2008.)

So, are you trying to tell me ALL of these school districts are not “watching their spending??” When, our school district is working off budgets (the state gave us) from the 1980’s??? I’m just glad I’m not working off a budget from what I was making in the ’80’s.

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