The Leander ISD board of trustees unanimously voted Oct. 27 to purchase attendance credits from the state as the district prepares to make its recapture payments, should Proposition A pass on Election Day, Nov. 8.

State law requires LISD to pay back an estimated $31.2 million to the state in recapture payments, because its local tax revenues exceed the amount it is entitled to based on student enrollment. The Texas Education Agency estimates LISD has a projected wealth per student of $61.87, which is greater than the threshold of $49.28 per student. To shore up the gap, the district is required to pay its excess revenue back to the state, which is then redistributed to property-poor districts.

Trustees clarified with Leo Lopez, chief financial officer of the consultant group Moak Casey, that their vote would not usurp the community’s decision, should voters choose not to pass Proposition A.

“The agreement that your district submits would really have no effect, essentially, and they would just move to their parcel analysis,” Lopez said.

If Proposition A fails, the TEA would detach an estimated $15.9 billion from LISD’s tax rolls to bring the district into compliance, Lopez said. This detachment of property would be permanent.

Board members were also given an update Oct. 27 regarding LISD's newest school to open in 2024.

As the district plans to open Elementary School No. 30 for the 2024-25 school year, inflation has caused the price of construction materials to increase, Chief Facilities Officer Jimmy Disler said.

The project’s cost for mechanical equipment has risen by 49%, while the cost for electrical equipment and plumbing materials have risen 48% and 38%, respectively, compared to the cost of materials for North Elementary School, which opened in August. The $19.8 million guaranteed maximum price contract—meant to compensate the construction contractor for materials—will be funded by project savings from the district’s 2007 and 2017 bond packages.

“That is significant [funding], but we did plan for those costs when set the budget for [Elementary School No.] 30 in the bond project savings," Disler said. "We do have those costs covered, but it’s real costs that are impacting the costs of our projects in the future also.”