Lake Travis ISD staff are projecting a $74 million purchase of attendance credits from the state will be required for fiscal year 2023-24.
On June 21, the LTISD board of trustees discussed an agreement to pay the state and said it will likely approve the agreement at a July 19 board meeting.
Pam Sanchez, assistant superintendent for business services at LTISD, said the property wealth per student within the district is higher than the statewide average. Because of this, the district must pay a certain amount of money back to the state each year through a process known as recapture.
Sanchez said purchasing the attendance credits serves as a mechanism for making the annual recapture payments.
Texas Education Code mandates that to purchase attendance credits, a school district must first hold what is called an attendance credit election, or ACE.
Sanchez said once a district's voters pass an ACE, there is no need for another election.
LTISD held an ACE that voters passed in 1993, and the district has been purchasing attendance credits from the state every year since then, she said.
The projected amount of $74 million in attendance credits for the 2023-24 school year is about $2 million higher than what LTISD staff project to pay for the 2022-23 school year.
Sanchez said that increase is normal as property valuations within the district rise each year.
Further, she said the district must purchase the attendance credits for 2022-23 by Aug. 15, and added two main factors come into play when determining the total amount a district must pay: attendance numbers and property valuations. Those numbers are typically clarified toward the end of each school year, she said.
"We'd budgeted last summer about $69 million for the 2022-23 attendance credits, but by February, I knew that was going to be about $72 million based on attendance data and property value estimates," Sanchez said.
For the 2023-24 school year, Sanchez said the district will have a more accurate projected dollar amount once property values and student attendance figures are settled next spring.