Edited August 11, 2017
With the close of the 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature, the Texas House and Senate failed to fund Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction (ASATR). Texas City ISD along with approximately 200 other school districts across Texas will lose close to $250 million in state funding. For Texas City ISD, this means the loss of approximately $5 million for the 2017-18 school year, or 6% of the total Texas City budget, placing TCISD per student funding lower than 2009 levels. Funds lost for 2018-19 is undetermined at this time but should be around $5 million also. Texas City ISD is the only district this impacts in Galveston County.
Cynthia Lusignolo, Ed.D., former Superintendent of Schools, said, “Eleven years ago, the Texas Legislature promised that public school districts would not suffer a reduction in funding when the State Legislature drastically reduced local property taxes. The State Legislature broke that promise by eliminating ASATR. Texas City ISD is in this situation through no fault of our own.We have no control over local property values, and we are already taxing at the maximum M & O rate of $1.17.Our local taxpayers are doing everything that can possibly be done at the local level to fund and protect the quality educational programs provided to students within TCISD.We are appealing to the Governor and the State Legislature to do what is right and restore the state funding that was promised through ASATR so that our students do not suffer.”
A loss of $5 million for Texas City ISD equates to approximately $560 less to spend per student, which is 6% of the total budget.. For some Texas districts ASATR comprises 50% of their total budget, and the loss of ASATR funds will result in the closing of their district doors. 78% of Texas City ISD’s budget is personnel (primarily teachers). 18% of the budget is non-discretionary costs such as utilities and other mandatory costs of doing business, and 4% of the budget is discretionary costs such as campus-controlled budgets.
Dr. Lusignolo continued, “Our only hope of restoring ASATR funds lies in the hands of legislators.”
Download Background information on ASATR.
Download ASATR Talking Points.
Download the original Press Release.