Quorum Report Daily Buzz Quorum Report Daily Buzz Login into the Quorum Report Subscribe toQuorum Report
Quorum Report Daily Buzz

May 9, 2019      10:41 AM

KR: In school finance, a heated battle over current versus prior year values

It is difficult to float those extra dollars, however temporary, if the state intends to put a cap on revenue. How would that 2.5 percent revenue cap be calculated if a portion of school district funding is expected eventually to go back to the state? Should funding go out under prior year values, but caps be based on current-year values?

Some of the state’s biggest school districts have sent a letter to the conferees on House Bill 3, asking members to remove current year values from school finance calculations in the bill. And now their allies include the largest superintendent association in the state.

The current year versus prior year value question has become one of the most heated debates in the school finance bill.

Groups like the Fast-Growth School Coalition and the Texas School Coalition – and now the Texas Association of School Superintendents – want to maintain the prior year values benefit, which can often give school districts with property value growth a cushion to handle some of the unexpected costs of growth.

At first, the argument was about logistics. School districts approve raises and hiring numbers in March, hold tax rate and budget hearings in May or June and finalize tax rates after the Comptroller releases his property value study in August.

By Kimberly Reeves

Click here to visit Austin Flag