The budget, approved at an Aug. 26 meeting, included an $18.6 million recapture payment to the state—almost half of what it had to pay in 2018-19, due to school finance reform passed into law this year.
LISD is entering its second year as a recapture district. This means that the district is considered by the state to be “property-rich” and must pay money into the recapture system that is then redistributed to “property-poor” districts.
Mike Ball, LISD’s chief financial officer, said the district is subject to recapture payments because property values have gone up while enrollment has declined.
Though LISD’s 2019-20 budget includes a recapture payment that is significantly lower than last year’s, the district still ends up with a $14.2 million deficit.
House Bill 3, which was passed into law this year, mandates that districts give teachers raises. As a result, the budget included increased compensation for teachers at all levels of experience.
Teachers with less than five years of experience were given a 2.5% raise under the new budget, while those with six to 15 years of experience were given a 2.75% raise. Additionally, teachers with 16 or more years were given a 3.5% pay increase under the new budget.
The board also adopted a maintenance and operation tax rate of $0.97 per $100 valuation. The interest and sinking rate was approved at $0.3675 per $100 valuation. This means the total tax rate was set at $1.3375, seven cents less than last year's rate.