Several Houston districts have joined others across the state in signing a letter to oppose one element of the latest school finance reform bill.
The letter, released May 8, was sent to the legislative Conference Committee deliberating House Bill 3. That bill would calculate school funding using property values from the current year rather than the existing practice of using prior year values.
Using current-year values would be “devastating to our school districts,” according to the letter.
This letter is an extension of the work by Texas districts to provide information and input to legislators regarding school finance reform, according to a news release.
Fifty-eight school districts, including Cy-Fair ISD, Katy ISD, Klein ISD, New Caney ISD and Friendswood ISD, have signed the letter.
The letter states that using current-year values “creates an additional Robin Hood system that affects even more districts than those currently subject to recapture. Any school district that experiences property value growth would now be subject to another system of recapture that benefits the state’s budget.”
In addition, the letter continues, “current-year values make budgeting at both the district and state levels much more imprecise. Districts will be preparing budgets and spending funds before the State Comptroller’s Office has reviewed, audited and certified values to both school districts and the Texas Education Agency. Certified values are essential for accurately calculating a school district’s revenue.”