Of the four main school performance drivers (Segregation, Life Experience, Instruction, Motivation) none is more insidious than segregation. Segregation separates into groups of those having some advantage (have’s) and those not having the required advantages (have-not’s). The advantages can be varied. Common advantages are wealth, power, connections, aptitude, and/or motivation. Not surprisingly, when compared, the advantaged group out performs the disadvantaged group. Then factor in increased resources for the advantaged group and the gaps between the performance of the two becomes an exponential function, not a linear one. view article arw

With its tax ratification election to perform a tax rate "swap" approved by voters the Caddo Mills Independent School District Board of Trustees are moving forward with its strategic planning committee. A total of 255 of the 371 residents who voted in the Caddo Mills ISD tax ratification election did so in favor of the tax swap. As a result of the swap, school officials have said that the district will now qualify for $500,000 in extra state education funding. view article arw

This is my first year in GISD. My family and I came here from another district that I will not disclose in this letter. My family was with that district since my first child started school 11 years ago. She is now a 10th grader at GHS. We liked our old district. Didn’t love it, but it was a good district.  We moved to Greenville last summer and what I learned on social media had me extremely concerned about putting my kids in GISD schools. But thank God I gave it a chance instead of bailing based on the comments of those I have since realized are only interested in advancing a personal agenda. My kids love school now. They have never loved school before this year, just tolerated it and enjoyed their friends. view article arw

Unofficial Election Day and early voting results are in for the Caddo Mills Independent School District’s tax ratification election, with almost 69 percent voting in favor of the proposed tax “swap.”  A total of 371 residents voted early in the tax ratification election, with 255 voting in favor and 116 residents voting against the tax proposal. An election official at the Caddo Mills ISD Administration Building, the only voting location, said there were no wait times reported throughout the day. view article arw

What is a tax ratification vote?

October 1708:40 AM

When voters head to the polls in the coming weeks, they will have two questions to decide regarding Alvin ISD. The first is pretty straightforward — Can the district borrow $480.5 million to build new schools to handle a rapidly-growing number of students. Voters in the district have seen similar bonds in the past — approving bonds for the district in 2000, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2013 and 2015. Those bonds have built 12 elementary schools, five junior highs and two high schools, along with the J.B Hensler Academy and many other district buildings.  view article arw

A handful of people attended a town hall meeting on Ector County Independent School District’s tax ratification election Monday in the auditorium at the Odessa Regional Medical Center east campus.The meeting was also livestreamed on Facebook. Election Day is Nov. 6. The ballot language will list it as Ector County Independent School District Special Election, Ector County Independent School District Proposition A. It is the last item on the ballot. view article arw

TRE’s Held on October 13

October 1508:43 AM

There were 2 TREs held both were ratified. (Balmorhea ISD and Caddo Mills). read more arw

Dew ISD Board of Trustees voted to follow in the footsteps of almost 60% of the districts in the state of Texas and call a Tax Ratification Election (TRE.) The purpose of the election is to enable the district to raise an approximately $125,000 of additional state funds. “State funding used to finance our school district is becoming more limited as time goes by,” according to Dew ISD Superintendent Darrell Evans, “Three main factors are the basis of this issue. view article arw

Dallas ISD wants more money, and it's going to the taxpayers in November to request a tax hike. A tax ratification election on the ballot would authorize a tax rate increase. Other Texas districts, including Frisco, Richardson and Duncanville, will hold TREs on Nov. 6. Great! Taxpayers should have a say in what their taxes will be. But tax increases requested by school boards should not be rubber-stamped.  view article arw

Economist Ray Perryman will step up to the plate as the keynote speaker during the Texas Forest Country Partnership’s 2018 Economic Development Summit “Hitting an Economic Development Home Run in Rural Communities” on Oct. 30 at the Pitser Garrison Convention Center in Lufkin. “We are so very excited Dr. Perryman will step up to the plate and provide his knowledge and insight to our communities,” Nancy Windham, president/CEO of the Texas Forest Country Partnership, said. “This is a great opportunity for our citizens to hear his economic forecast and outlook for our Texas Forest Region.” view article arw

The Tomball ISD board of trustees voted unanimously to keep tax rate the same for 2018 at $1.34 per $100 valuation of a home’s assessed value on Tuesday. The tax rate will be split with $1.04 going toward maintenance and operation costs. view article arw

Sweeny ISD taxpayers are being asked to approve a two-cent tax increase on the Nov. 6 ballot, but their wallets will not notice it if the measure is approved, district officials said. District board members in August approved calling a tax ratification election, which in the case of Sweeny ISD, is more a bookkeeping change that will result in the district being able to keep more local dollars, Superintendent Tory Hill said. With the approval of voters, the district can do a “penny swap” — moving 2 cents from its interest and sinking fund to the maintenance and operations side, Chief Financial Officer Amy Carter said. view article arw

An explanation of why the crisis in Texas public school funding is not an accident. It is by design and the people in office, right now, did it and/or support the results. view article arw

Repost!  Drilling booms have come and gone in this oil town for nearly a century. But the frenzy gripping it now is different. Overwhelming. Drilling rigs tower over suburban backyards. There’s a housing crunch so severe that rents are up 30 percent in the last year alone. Tax-averse city officials raised fees this spring just to keep basic services afloat. This boom is engulfing the rest of West Texas, too, extending to areas that drilling hasn’t touched before. As communities welcome the jobs and the new business, they’re struggling with an onslaught of problems that include spikes in traffic accidents and homelessness. view article arw

The Justice Department’s approval of the $69 billion merger between CVS Health and Aetna on Wednesday caps a wave of consolidation among giant health care players that could leave American consumers with less control over their medical care and prescription drugs.  The approval marks the close of an era, during which powerful pharmacy benefit managers brokered drug prices among pharmaceutical companies, insurers and employers. view article arw

Repost!  Voters in the Dallas school district and others in North Texas will decide on tax ratifications elections, or TREs, this November.   These tax measures, which have becoming increasingly popular ballot items in the last decade, are meant to generate millions more for school districts, but not all of them pass.  As the Texas population keeps growing, the state’s prospering. That combination used to help school districts financially, but not anymore, says Joy Baskin, the legal services director of the Texas Association of School Boards. view article arw

Despite a shortfall of over $7 million, the 2018-19 Clear Creek ISD budget maintains the property tax rate of $1.4 per $100 valuation. The CCISD board of trustees in late August approved the 2018-19 budget, which includes a deficit that partially comes from the school safety upgrades approved in July. view article arw

Two years after voters turned down a Frisco ISD tax ratification election, the district is calling for another TRE as well as a bond election. This time, however, the district’s combined tax rate could be decreasing. During an August meeting, FISD board of trustees adopted a tax rate of $1.44 per $100 valuation, 2 cents less than the fiscal year 2017-18 tax rate. Trustees also called for a $691 million bond proposition during an August meeting to fund renovations to aging facilities, construction for new buildings and new technology, among other projects. According to the district, the tax rate is expected to remain the same for the next two to five years. view article arw

In an effort to secure about $65 million in tax breaks, Exxon appears to have misled the state about how far along it was in deciding where to build a $1.9 billion plastics plant. In July, Exxon applied for a tax exemption for two proposed plastics processing units at its Baytown facility. The company had already secured approval from Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District to reduce the taxable value of its investment from about $700 million to just $100 million for 10 years. To get final approval from the Texas comptroller’s office, Exxon has to pass what’s called a “but for test” — but for the massive tax breaks, it wouldn’t build the plants in Texas. To prove that it was still considering other states, Exxon claimed in its application that the “project is still in an evaluation stage” and that “no regulatory permit applications have been filed.” view article arw

Odessans for Education, a political action committee, announced its support Tuesday for Ector County Independent School District’s tax ratification election set for Nov. 6. The announcement was made by Collin Sewell and Lorraine Perryman, co-chairs of Odessans for Education, at South 40. The ballot language will list it as Ector County Independent School District Special Election, Ector County Independent School District Proposition A. And it’s the last item on the ballot, Perryman said. view article arw

On Nov. 6, voters who reside in Richardson ISD will be asked to increase the district’s maintenance and operations tax rate by 13 cents to $1.17 per $100 home valuation—the maximum allowed by the state. Through approval of the tax rate increase, the district says it can avoid a $54.1 million budget shortfall over the next five years. Without it, RISD officials say they will be unable to provide salary increases, hire additional safety and special education personnel, raise wages for hourly workers and maintain reasonable student-to-teacher classroom ratios. The district estimates a $305 annual increase in property taxes for the average Richardson home valued at $288,794. view article arw

AUSTIN — A group of 18 conservative Texas organizations unveiled its legislative priorities Tuesday, calling for the elimination of the corporate franchise tax and an aggressive plan to stifle property tax increases set by local governments.  The call to action, led by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank, is a likely indicator of the kinds of bills Republican lawmakers will file in the next legislative session, which starts in January.   Adding fuel to their fire, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick have both endorsed proposals similar to elements of the plan.  view article arw

Springtown ISD adopts tax rate

September 2608:25 AM

Springtown ISD board of trustees adopted the 2018-19 tax rate at their regular meeting Monday at Springtown ISD Administration Office Boardroom. The tax rate is $1.359 per $100 valuation, and the trustees adopted the rate unanimously. Springtown ISD Superintendent Mike Kelley said during the meeting that he had not received any feedback from community members and asked trustees if they had received any, and they said they had not.  view article arw

The Clear Creek ISD board of trustees on Monday approved a property tax rate consistent with past years but adjusted to help cover operational costs. The tax rate was set at $1.4 per $100 valuation—the same amount the rate has been for at least the past three years, said Paul McLarty, deputy superintendent of business and support services. The rate includes money that goes toward maintenance and operations, or M&O, and debt service. Traditionally, $1.04 of the $1.4 rate has gone toward M&O, and $0.36 of the rate has gone toward paying off debt, he said. view article arw

The Grapevine-Colleyville ISD board of trustees approved an order to prepay $10.5 million in outstanding debt during Monday’s meeting. By paying $10.5 million ahead of its debt payment schedule, GCISD will be able to save over $5.2 million in interest costs while increasing the district’s capacity to issue bonds with little to no effect on its interest and sinking tax rate, according to meeting documents. view article arw

Flint Hills Resources and the Nueces County Appraisal District have agreed to settle their legal dispute over property taxes. view article arw

For 11 years Richardson ISD has maintained a steady maintenance and operations tax rate, but in November the district will ask voters to contribute additional dollars toward its general fund—a move it says would cost the average homeowner an additional $305 per year.“We certainly know it is not an opportune time for our taxpayers with the increases they have seen with our appraisals, but we have waited as long as we can, and this is the time when we have to go ask our taxpayers for the increase,” RISD board of trustees President Justin Bono said. view article arw

Texas education officials made no effort to hide the reality every property owner faces when their tax bill comes due — the state has no interest in paying its share of public education. They’re able to get away with it because of an effective blame game carried out by the state’s elected leaders, who point their fingers at local appraisal districts and school boards as the culprits for skyrocketing property taxes. It’s a game that clearly works. A poll question that’s been up at thefacts.com for some time presents a simple choice on who is more accountable for increases in school property taxes, local school officials or state government. Of the 730 votes registered, 444 faulted local school boards. That’s about 61 percent. view article arw

The Holliday ISD may see more money before too long thanks it a recent election. With the tax ratification election passed on Sept. 8, Holliday ISD expects to have more money coming into the district and with so many ways that money could be used they are looking for some input from the community on what should be upgraded. The tax ratification election did not raise taxes, but instead, it moved some of the tax revenue into maintenance and operations, which should bring in a lot more money over the next few years. view article arw

CADDO MILLS — The Caddo Mills Independent School District will hold two community meetings to inform residents about the proposed tax rate “swap,” which will be decided on by voters on Oct. 13. District officials on Wednesday afternoon announced the place and time of the meetings through the Caddo Mills ISD Facebook page.  The first meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 25 at the cafeteria of Caddo Mills Middle School, located 2700 Gilmer St. The second meeting will take place at the same time on Oct. 4 at the cafeteria of Caddo Mills High School, located 2710 Gilmer St.  Early voting for the tax rate proposal will take place between Sept. 26 and Oct. 9. view article arw

Texas has seen unprecedented property value growth in recent years. At the same time, property owners have seen their property taxes rise. This has created a frenzy among state lawmakers in Austin over how to "save" taxpayers from their local governments. That's because it's easier for lawmakers to blame someone else for problems they create, rather than address the statewide problems it is their responsibility to solve. Texas lawmakers need to focus on how to use our booming economy to fix the longstanding problems of inadequate school funding and the high rate of uninsured Texans driving up costs in our public hospitals. But all the grandstanding by state officials about local property taxes doesn't fix anything.  view article arw

Do you hear that giant sucking sound? It’s the sound of our state government in Austin slurping up your local school taxes.Last week, the Texas Education Agency projected that the state will spend $3.5 billion less in general revenue funds on education over the next couple of years. That’s because the local property tax revenues are expected to go through the roof — rising by about 6.8 percent each year. As property tax revenues rise, the state cuts its share of school funding. More of the tax burden is left on the shoulders of homeowners and businesses. view article arw

The state’s budget situation improves as the financial load on Texas property owners increases. That makes for noisy and gnarly politics.   Officials from the Texas Education Agency gave state budget-writers an early look at their budget numbers this week, saying that thy expect property values to rise 6.8 percent per year over the next two years Their takeaway gives a new meaning to take-away: That means local property taxpayers will be paying billions more for public schools, and that the state will spend billions less than it would otherwise as a result. view article arw

Pearland ISD board of trustees passed a tax rate of $1.4156 per $100 valuation, the same as the 2017-18 overall tax rate. However, the board voted to pass a tax swap, moving two pennies from the interest and sinking, or I&S, rate to the maintenance and operations, or M&O, rate for 2018-19 only. This swap will make the M&O rate $1.06 per $100 valuation and the I&S rate $0.3556 per $100 valuation. The district was able to pass a tax swap without voter approval by law as the district was considering damaged during Hurricane Harvey. After one year, the tax rate will revert back to the 2017-18 rate. view article arw

Days after Cedar Hill ISD voters shot down a measure aimed at raising revenue for the school district, district leaders carted boxes of donuts to schools.  "Any time you lose, it stings," Superintendent Billy Snow said. "What I've learned in my career is that you fight those feelings of loss or being down by doing something good."  So school staff members swallowed the defeat with Krispy Kreme. The theme: "DoNUT give up!" Cedar Hill was the only one of five North Texas school districts to take a loss Saturday in a tax-ratification election. Duncanville, Azle, Keller and Ennis ISD voters passed their own measures. view article arw