Six resolutions were discussed tonight by the Austin ISD board of trustees that may be submitted to the Texas Association of School Boards, or TASB, for inclusion in its 2017-18 advocacy efforts.

Following review by the TASB Resolutions Committee and the TASB board, the proposed resolutions could ultimately be pursued by TASB during the 2019 legislative session.

The first resolution seeks to regain funding assistance for transportation, which was withdrawn from districts that pay recapture when Robin Hood was enacted in 1995. Recapture requires school districts that are deemed “property wealthy” to share property tax revenue with school districts deemed “property poor.” AISD is the single largest contributor to state recapture in Texas, according to its Chief Financial Officer Nicole Conley Johnson.

The second resolution addresses the need to update the cost of education index, which adjusts the state funding allotment based on economic factors, such as size of the district, teacher salaries in neighboring districts and the percentage of low-income students within the district. The index has not been updated since 1989.

The third and fourth resolutions confront the trend of dwindling state and federal dollars for public education and the increased reliance on local property taxes to make up for the loss of funding.

The resolutions are as follows:

  1. TASB supports adequate transportation funding for all districts.

  2. TASB supports a cost of education index that accurately reflects increases in the cost of education and cost of living and that is updated at regular intervals.

  3. TASB supports a state system of public school finance that is based on multiple sustainable state revenue sources.

  4. TASB supports returning state funding to at least 50 percent of the cost of maintaining and operating public schools and keeping all local property taxes in public education

  5. TASB supports legislation that exempts public school buses from paying tolls for use of toll roads operated by the state and regional mobility authorities or their contractors.

  6. TASB supports state funding for programs in which public school students are enrolled in and receive credit in college courses.

The trustees have a deadline of July 3 to submit proposed advocacy resolutions to TASB. No action was taken at tonight's meeting.