As legislators prepare to convene in Austin for the start of the 86th Texas Legislature on Jan. 8, Cy-Fair ISD officials have prepared their list of issues they plan to share with lawmakers.
Topping the list of priorities is school finance. In the past four years the state’s portion of CFISD’s annual funding has declined from 50 percent to 37 percent. Chief Financial Officer Stuart Snow said at an Oct. 4 board meeting he would like to see the state’s contribution return to at least 50 percent to adequately and equitably fund education costs for the district.
“The Cost of Education Index was implemented way back in 1991 to recognize regional cost difference in providing education to students—specifically the differences in teacher salaries across the state—so that obviously needs to be updated,” he said.
Safety and security was a new priority this year. Chief of Staff Teresa Hull said CFISD has spent $130 million on safety and security since 2011—including facility upgrades, district police services and mental health intervention teams—and none of the funding has come from the state.
“It’s been made pretty clear there will be several bills filed this legislative session focused on safety and security measures, and we would like to ask that that remain in local control,” she said. “[We] don’t feel that those safety and security measures need to be mandated at a state level.”