Getting more funding per student is a main goal for Carroll ISD in the upcoming 88th Texas Legislature session.

The CISD board of trustees unanimously approved legislative priorities for the upcoming session at its Jan. 23 meeting. These priorities were compiled by a subcommittee of the board of trustees. The trustees were Eric Lannen, Alex Sexton and Cameron Bryan.

The change in student allotment would come from changing the funding formula to be based on enrollment, rather than attendance. During the meeting, Trustee Hannah Smith said the district is facing a $6 million shortfall next year.

“As a district we are certainly in a situation where we could utilize those dollars to continue the success that we have on a regular basis,” Superintendent Lane Ledbetter said.

The following issues will be top priorities in the upcoming session.

School finance
  • Increase in the four-year basic allotment by $893, approximately a 14.5% inflationary increase, to offset increased operational costs due to inflation and other factors. An increase to basic allotment of $893 would generate approximately $8 million annually.
  • Eliminate recapture on voter approved Tier Two copper pennies. Each copper penny generates approximately $1 million with $560,000 returned to the state through recapture or Robin Hood payments.
Curriculum and Instruction
  • Revise House Bill 4545 to allow districts to locally determine the parameters of remediation for students who do not perform satisfactorily on state assessments and prove full funding to implement HB 4545 remediation outside of the school day.
Special programs
  • Modify legislative requirement that has all students only test online to allow paper administration as an accommodation, if this accommodation is routinely used in a student's IEP/504 Plan. In its current format, the online STAAR assessment cannot be replicated to allow students to routinely practice taking this assessment in preparation for the state test.
Student services and safety
  • Advocate for increased funding of the School Safety Allotment and local flexibility to ensure districts can adequately meet student and staff safety needs. New amendments concerning school facilities proposed will require the district to comply with requirements for school safety such as panic alert systems, updated radio receivers, forced-entry resistant film on windows and perimeter barriers.
Smith said the district priorities can be used to lobby the legislature.

“I would encourage everyone in the community to take this document and use it to draft appropriate emails or letters to your representatives to encourage them to increase that basic allotment,” she said in the meeting. “We really need the legislature to move on this and they really need to come through for us in a big way.”

The complete document of legislative priorities for the 88th session can be found here.