Richardson ISD officials speak out on "detrimental" impact of Senate's take on HB3

Superintendent Jeannie Stone spoke at a May 17 press conference on the Senate's changes to HB 3.

Superintendent Jeannie Stone spoke at a May 17 press conference on the Senate's changes to HB 3.

Recent changes made by the Senate to the House version of school finance reform could upend all progress made so far in resolving the issue of funding public schools, several area school districts claim.

In a joint letter addressed to members of the state Legislature, leaders from more than 50 Texas school districts spoke about the detriment of switching from prior year appraisal values to current year appraisal values. That figure determines the state’s share of public education funding for school districts.

“Current-year values would also eliminate the one-year safeguard that both fast-growing and declining enrollment districts desperately need to accommodate erratic enrollment fluctuations,” the letter stated.

The change affects any school district with rising property values regardless of enrollment, according to Plano ISD Chief Financial Officer Randy McDowell.

Richardson ISD Superintendent Jeannie Stone was one of several district officials who spoke at a May 17 news conference about her opposition to the bill in its current form. The change in calculations would cost RISD millions and potentially result in the elimination of 50 teachers as well as equity and college-and-career readiness programs.

"I was for the first time in my 30-year career optimistic that this would be the year we would transform education in Texas," Stone said. "This miracle happened—the money was there for the first time. All items [in the bill] will truly move the needle for students in my district and the entire state. But much of that is jeopardized if we move to current year values." 

Stone described the shift as an “accounting ploy” used to benefit the state’s budget.

“They are going to give money in this hand, and then turn around and take it out of your wallet when you’re not watching,” she said.

The shift to current year values also means districts would be building “imprecise budgets” and spending funds based on values that have not been audited and certified by the state comptroller, the letter stated.

“Switching to current-year values will cause districts to be less accurate in forecasting, making the state budget process more volatile," Stone said.

The proposal was sent May 10 to a conference committee, which is tasked with resolving the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.

“We were promised transformational legislation that adds significant new money to our schools while providing property tax relief, and we hold out hope that there is still time for our legislators to deliver on that promise,” Plano ISD Superintendent Sara Bonser said at the conference.
By Olivia Lueckemeyer

Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


Three candidates have filed for a place on the May 2 ballot. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Three candidates will appear on the May ballot for the Richardson ISD board of trustees

A last-minute filing means one of two races will be contested.

Create a piece of art for your home at a brush-lettered wooden sign workshop at Coolgreens in CityLine. (Courtesy CityLine)
8 Richardson events to attend in February and March

Craft workshops, a vinyl record show and an exotic animals exhibit are happening in the coming weeks.

Crews are working to create a new median on the President George Bush Turnpike. (Courtesy North Texas Tollway Authority)
4 transportation updates to know in Richardson and beyond

Construction on the $2 million Campbell Road widening project begins in April.

Most recent market data shows sales price drop in two Richardson ZIP codes

Conversely, the 75081 ZIP code saw a sales price increase.

The board approved a construction manager for the Gulledge Elementary project in September. Since then, the guaranteed maximum price for the expansion has been reviewed, clarified and evaluated. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Price goes up, but Gulledge Elementary expansion project remains on schedule

The Gulledge Elementary six-classroom addition has been approved for roughly $815,000 more in construction costs than originally estimated in August.

Hot chicken is a Nashville tradition. (Courtesy Ricky's Nashville Hot Chicken)
Ricky's brings Nashville's hot chicken tradition to Richardson

The restaurant serves Nashville-style spicy fried chicken with various heat options.

Richardson’s latest budget report shows revenue is up in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019-20. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Richardson City Council hears first quarterly budget report for fiscal year 2019-20

General fund revenue totals $42.3 million, a $4.2 million increase year over year.

Two for the Money is Dale Wamstad's latest culinary project. (Makenzie Plusnick/Community Impact)
Dale Wamstad's new restaurant Two for the Money BBQ opens in Richardson

The menu includes prime brisket, St. Louis ribs and homemade sausage.

Methodist Richardson Medical Center is renovating two of its departments. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)
Department renovations underway at Methodist Richardson Medical Center

The upgrades will bring new technology to the medical center.

public hearing adobe stock image
Collin County public hearing on proposed regulation revisions set for Feb. 24

The public will have the chance to speak on the new Collin County Subdivision Regulations and Collin County Floodplain Management Regulations.

A rendering shows what the new Town North Mazda dealership could look like upon reconstruction. (Rendering courtesy VLK Architects)
Council greenlights rebuild of Town North Mazda dealership in Richardson

The new building will be double the size of the existing 15,000-square foot dealership.

An unveiling reception will be held at the Eisemann Center on March 6 at 7 p.m. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)
Unveiling of first Eisemann Edge art installation set for March 6

The piece commemorates Richardson’s accomplishments and technological contributions to the world.

Back to top