District officials last lowered the tax rate in FY 2014-15, according to budget information, when the tax rate dropped from $1.36 per $100 valuation to $1.34 per $100 valuation.
"House Bill 3 established new funds for education, which—locally, what that translates to is an opportunity for us to lower the tax rate," board Vice President Michael Pratt said during the Sept. 10 meeting. "As we look at the tax rate, it's been $1.34 since 2014, and what this agenda item does, if approved, is move the tax rate by a nickel down to $1.29. I think that's an important thing that I just wanted to emphasize."
House Bill 3, adopted by the 86th Texas Legislature, allocated $11.6 billion to Texas schools to help reform the way public school districts are funded. The bill mandates the compression of the maintenance and operations tax, which funds general operations, resulting in lower overall tax rates, as Community Impact Newspaper previously reported.
Other items of note
During the Sept. 10 meeting, the board also heard an enrollment report from TISD Chief Operating Officer Steven Gutierrez. This fall marks the first time TISD has surpassed the 18,000-student mark for enrollment, he said. As of the 10th day of enrollment, there were 18,134 students enrolled in TISD for the 2019-20 school year, Gutierrez told the board. This includes 7,338 elementary students and 10,796 students at secondary schools, including intermediate, junior high and high schools.
Trustees also unanimously approved a proposal Sept. 10 by Sterling Structures, Inc. for $4.97 million to construct the agricultural science project center at Tomball High School. The project will be funded by the district's 2017 bond referendum.
"[I'm] very glad to see this agenda item on here and us getting started," trustee John McStravick said during the meeting.
Read more about the status of several bond-funded projects in the September cover story of Community Impact Newspaper.