Opinion: Growing payments to the state from schools call for reform
Yesterday, the Dallas Morning News Editorial Board published an opinion piece: Dallas ISD’s growing payments to the state show why we can’t be done with tax reform, which speaks to what a challenging time it is for schools right now and an inopportune moment for the burden of recapture to grow. Dallas ISD may be the specific focus of this piece, but the hardship it describes is the same in many districts throughout the state. The editorial concludes with this: "The Texas Supreme Court rightly ruled in the 1980s that our state’s school finance system before recapture was unconstitutional. But what we have in place now is still failing Texas children."

The editorial is behind a paywall, so for those who are not DMN subscribers, a PDF is available here.
VATR Election Resources
It's that time of year when you are contemplating tax rates and elections. To that end, we are pleased to provide you with a new resource--a Toolkit intended to help districts proposing VATR Elections effectively communicate with the local community in advance of the November election. The toolkit provides information, guidance, and examples. Thanks to our friends at New West Communications for their work on this project. Check it out here: Communications Toolkit for School Districts Proposing VATR Elections

Additionally, there are many steps and rules to follow in this process. As tax rates are calculated and you get that information and approval from TEA, there are many posting rules, and Truth in Taxation forms, and public meetings that must occur. There are resources to help with that as well. The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) provides a detailed memo to outline every step along the way: School District Budget and Tax Rate Adoption in 2022.

And the Coalition updated our brief on School District Budget, Tax Rate, and Election Timeline & Procedures back in May 2022.
Committee/Commission/Task Force Activities
Here is the latest information on legislative committees, commissioner, and a task force we are tracking.

The House Public Education Committee met July 25-26 to take up a long list of topics, including school finance. Texas School Coalition President Kyle Lynch provided testimony on behalf of the Coalition. In case you missed it, you can catch up on that here, read his testimony, and take a look at the handout provided to legislators on the committee pertaining to inflation, the Basic Allotment, Formula Transition Grants, and of course recapture. This committee will meet again on Tuesday, August 9, to take up the topics of assessments and accountability.

These two committees will jointly meet on Monday, August 8, starting at 9:00 a.m. to hear invited testimony on the role of online communications in mass violence scenarios and technological resources to detect, mitigate, and report threats. Additionally, they will study needs related to mental health--including the mental health needs of educators and school administrators.

This Commission's next meeting is scheduled for August 22.

The Commission last met on July 27, to focus primarily on the topic of teacher preparation. They are scheduled for a double-header later this month and will meet on August 23 and August 24.
What issues matter most to you this election? 
The Texas Tribune put out a call to Texas voters to tell them what issues matter most. The idea is that they are looking for help in knowing what questions to ask of candidates and state leaders as part of their coverage. If you (or someone in your community with strong opinions about issues) want to take the time to tell them what's most important to you, it could impact the coverage and help shape the conversation.
Priorities for the 88th Legislative Session

  • Enable public schools to meet students' needs
  • Control the cost of recapture
  • Protect the sustainability of public education funding
  • Ensure public accountability of public dollars
  • Preserve local decision-making

You can take a look at the priorities on our website to get more information behind each of those statements. And if you are interested in even more details about what all of this means, we have expanded further with an itemized list of priorities under each of those headings.
Officers nominated for 2022-2024
The Texas School Coalition membership elects officers in the fall of every even-numbered year to serve the organization for a two-year term. Our bylaws call for the Executive Committee to nominate a slate of officers, and the following individuals have been nominated:

President - Kyle Lynch, Seminole ISD
Vice President - Danny Massey, Brazosport ISD
Secretary/Treasurer - Sharon McKinney, Port Aransas ISD

Additional nominations from member districts may be submitted that carry the endorsement of 10% of the membership. Our officers will be elected at the membership meeting during the TASA/TASB Convention on Saturday, September 24.
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