As districts scramble, state should reassess commitment to public education
Fredericksburg Independent School District’s potential “tax swap,” outlined in last week’s paper, described a new practice in school districts around the state. Realizing folks like Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and his tea party supporters don’t have their backs, trustees around Texas are trading in some debt capacity to make up for shortfalls in operational revenue.
FISD is exploring a “swap” of up to three cents of its debt-issuing limit and use that unused revenue toward operations. Year after year of no raises for teachers and pinching pennies on operations is forcing trustees to get creative.
Voters will be asked to OK the measure, which will not include any additional taxes or an increase in the tax rate — just a reassignment of a few of the pennies on our tax rate we designate toward debt rather than operations.
That will also result in FISD being able to issue less debt, lessening its borrowing capacity from $18 million down to about $11 million. We will see how that affects the district as this area continues to grow.
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