Recapture, which is now called revenue in excess of entitlement, is designed to redistribute property tax dollars from property-wealthy districts to those determined to be property poor by the Texas Education Agency. PISD has made more than $1 billion in recapture payments to the state over the last six years. The projected payment for this school year is slated to be around $35 million more than last year's recapture bill of just under $213 million.
“Simply put, this is how we equalize our wealth, which we are required by law to do,” Deputy Superintendent Johnny Hill said. “[Purchasing attendance credits] is about the most affordable way for us to do that.”
District officials previously explained PISD held an election in 1993 to get voter approval to use the purchase of attendance credits from the TEA as its method for making recapture payments.
Meaningful change to the recapture system has long been a top legislative priority for PISD, board President David Stolle said earlier this year, and it will continue to be until something is done, he said.
Among the changes PISD is advocating for are limits to recapture relative to a district’s total revenue. District officials also said the state should create collection formulas that reflect inflation and differences in the costs of living between rural and urban areas.
“One of the last things that we have asked for is that our funds collected in recapture be used to fund traditional public education,” board member Nancy Humphrey said during the Sept. 6 meeting. “It can’t go somewhere else.”
The board approved the purchase of attendance credits by a vote of 5-1. Board member Cody Weaver voted against the motion and board member Heather Wang was absent from the meeting.
The full meeting can be viewed here.