McKinney ISD expected to receive at least $16.5 million in federal funding, will lower tax rate

New relief funding will allow McKinney ISD to lower its tax rate more than it had originally proposed. (Courtesy McKinney ISD)
New relief funding will allow McKinney ISD to lower its tax rate more than it had originally proposed. (Courtesy McKinney ISD)

New relief funding will allow McKinney ISD to lower its tax rate more than it had originally proposed. (Courtesy McKinney ISD)

McKinney ISD is slated to receive about $16.5 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education to help address unexpected costs incurred during the coronavirus pandemic.

With the funds, the district is proposing a $0.07 total tax rate decrease for the 2021-22 school year.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced the release of $11.2 billion for Texas public schools from the third round of federal funding from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund in an April 28 press release. The funds will be used to help districts address student learning loss and costs incurred during the pandemic. Due to federal requirements, just two-thirds of the funding is available immediately, Abbott said, through grants administered by the Texas Education Agency.

“These relief funds could not have come at a more critical time,” MISD Superintendent Rick McDaniel said in a news release. “Students and teachers have been significantly impacted by the effects of COVID-19, and we are focused on restoring normalcy to campuses next year, while at the same time ensuring the health and safety of our learning environments.”

The final piece of funding could give the district additional funding of up to $6 million, but the approval and the amount will not be confirmed until at least June, said Jason Bird, MISD’s deputy superintendent of business, operations, accountability and technology.

With the relief funds, the district will maintain its current staffing with smaller class sizes, Bird said.

“McKinney ISD has maintained our full staffing, so the dollars will go to assist with continuing to have full staffing,” Bird said. “Obviously, we hope all of our students come back in person, ready to go. And we are prepared with seats and teachers.”

The district lost about 1,100 students this past school year, but it kept all its teachers with the rationale that some of these students would return and the district should be ready to teach them at the same level it had been previously, Bird said.

This spring the district asked voters to support four different ballot items. One of these items, Proposition B, was proposed to provide additional funding for the district’s maintenance and operations budget. This would increase this portion of the district’s budget by $0.02, and upon approval the district would lower its debt service tax rate by $0.05, resulting in a net decrease of $0.03.

Although the measure passed in the May 1 election by more than 65%, the relief funds the district is set to receive has given McKinney ISD the opportunity to use these funds rather than increasing the maintenance and operations tax rate, Bird said.

“With the [relief] funds coming into the district, that is going to allow us to maintain our full staffing as we had anticipated, and we're going to be able to provide a 2% pay raise across the board, all while not accessing the pennies that were approved by our voters,” Bird said.

The 2% pay raise for teachers would result in an estimated raise of about $1,250 for teachers with a $500 mid-year stipend, and would also increase the starting teacher compensation at McKinney ISD to $58,300, factoring in the mid-year stipend, Bird said.

The district will still lower its debt service rate, as it had promised voters. But instead of the total tax rate decrease of $0.03, taxpayers will instead see a total tax rate decrease of a little over $0.07. This reduction will present an approximate savings of $275 for the average single-family household in McKinney, rather than the originally proposed $122, according to an MISD news release.

“We cannot thank the McKinney community enough for their ongoing support of public education and McKinney ISD,” Bird said in the release. “McKinney has always supported strong schools, and our residents understand the impact that quality schools have on our community. When we received this funding, we saw an opportunity to meet the needs of our students and also provide additional tax relief to our taxpayers.”

Under current legislation, the district has to expend this emergency relief funding by September 2024. However, there is pending legislation that would provide an extension for districts so they would have five years to spend the relief funding.

“Either way, we're happy as clams, whether we have to expend the funds in three years, or have to expend the funds over five years,” Bird said. “Either way, McKinney ISD is well-positioned to make that work.”

Should the district be in financial need by the time the funds are exhausted, there is confidence voters would support a future tax rate election, just as they had done this year, Bird said.

“If we can provide a bigger tax cut than we originally thought, I think we owe it to our community,” Bird said. “They have always supported McKinney ISD students and schools, and we trust they will do so in the future.”
By Miranda Jaimes
Miranda has been in the North Texas area since she graduated from Oklahoma Christian University in 2014. She reported and did design for a daily newspaper in Grayson County before she transitioned to a managing editor role for three weekly newspapers in Collin County. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 covering Tarrant County news, and is now back in Collin County as the editor of the Frisco and McKinney editions.


The Goddard School is building a new location in Trinity Falls in McKinney. (Courtesy The Goddard School)
The Goddard School coming soon to Trinity Falls area in McKinney

When construction on the early childhood education center is complete, it will have 10 classrooms, an indoor gym with a rock wall and two outdoor playgrounds.

plates of food
First Mad for Chicken in Texas now open in downtown McKinney

Soy-garlic fried chicken alongside pork belly strips, salads, kimchi fries, quesadillas and more are available.

McKinney completes over $3.17M in renovations at Cottonwood Park

A community party July 24 will highlight the more than $3.17 million invested in preserving and redeveloping McKinney's Cottonwood Park.

The city of McKinney established school zones for Emerson High School in a July 20 City Council meeting. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
School zone established for Emerson High in Frisco ISD; 61% of residents in 3 Plano ZIP codes fully vaccinated, and more top news from DFW

Read the most popular business and community news from the past week from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Peter Lake (left), chair of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and Brad Jones, interim president and CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, provided an update on state regulators' electric grid redesign efforts in Austin on July 22. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Regulators: Texas electric grid prepared for potentially record-breaking demand next week; 'once-in-a-generation reforms' underway

The heads of the agencies in charge of the Texas electric grid met in Austin on July 22 to provide updates on their grid reform efforts.

McKinney supply for homes not meeting demand

Factors behind this market dynamic include a prepandemic interest in the Dallas-Fort Worth region that was exacerbated by the global health crisis.

Live music, beverage crawls and more things to do in McKinney this summer

Check out events to attend in McKinney from now through August.

map of school zones
McKinney establishes school zones for new Emerson High

Frisco ISD's 11th high school will open this fall in west McKinney.

Opioid abuse and the need for services addressing developmental disabilities are both on the rise in Collin County, LifePath Systems CEO Tammy Mahan told county commissioners on July 19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Collin County’s LifePath Systems sees rise in spending for opioid abuse, psychiatric beds

On treatment for opioid abuse, spending rose to $912,662 in 2020, which is up from $808,524 in 2019.

Suburban Yacht Club plans to open in Plano in August. (Courtesy Shannon McCarthy)
Suburban Yacht Club coming to Plano; Gidi Bar & Grill opens in Frisco and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Pizza and wings will be offered at Barro's Pizza when the restaurant opens in McKinney this September. (Courtesy Barro's Pizza)
Barro's Pizza coming to McKinney; Murad Furniture opens in Richardson and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The Billy G's Original hoagie at Guitars & Growlers comes with ham, salami, various veggies and oil & vinegar. (Courtesy Guitars & Growlers)
McKinney restaurant Guitars & Growlers fosters community through craft beer, music

Guitars & Growlers opened its first location in Richardson in 2017. Both locations serve local craft beer, ciders and root beer on tap, in addition to a full menu with items named after well-known musicians.