With the so much information in the news about state budget cuts, it is a good time to remind folks of how schools are funded. Basically, schools have two types of budgets, operating and capital projects. The operating budget comes from donations, funds from the federal government, local revenue from concessions and entry fees, revenue from property taxes and revenue from the state of Texas. The breakdown of funding for the 2010-2011 school year is as follows: 28 % local revenue, 64% state revenue, and 8% federal revenue. The state and local dollars cover the basic cost of educating students and provides for the day-to-day operating budget. The state and local dollars do not pay toward the construction and renovation of facilities unless it is approved through a state special program like existing debt allotment or the instructional facility allotment. As well, local dollars through a bond election pay for the construction and renovation of facilities. The way the school funding system is constructed, operating budgets each year are built on revenue generated through the adopted tax rate, state funding from student enrollment, federal funding and local revenue sources like entry fees for contests. These funds do not account for the cost of renovation or construction of buildings.
State law changed in 2005 vastly reducing local property taxes shifting the burden away from the local taxpayer to the state. The problem with this funding system is that a structural deficit was constructed, meaning not enough money was put into the state system when the state reduced the local property tax rate which previously funded a large portion of the school districts funding. The state of Texas is definitely going to decrease its funding of schools. We will have to adjust. The state legislators are telling us to prepare for the "new normal". They have also told us that with a decrease in funding will be a decrease in mandates and more options for flexibility. Knowing that this day was coming, San Saba ISD pursued a Tax Ratification Election two years ago, but it failed. Richland Springs ISD and Cherokee ISD knew this day was coming as well. Both of those schools successfully passed their Tax Ratification Election that was presented to the voters. As a result, they now both maximize their dollar from the state of Texas and receive more money per capita than SSISD. It looks like too, under the proposed changes to school funding, those schools at the higher tax rate will be rewarded with less cuts and more revenue.
If the bond package passes, San Saba ISD will still have a lower tax rate than it did when the laws changed in 2005. When the law changed San Saba ISD was at $1.46 for operations plus $.09 construction for a total tax rate of $1.55. If the currently proposed bond package passes, the rate of taxes will be $1.04 for operations plus $.09 (current bond) plus $0.234 (bond under consideration) for a total tax rate of $1.364. This is $.186 cents lower than the tax rate before the law changed. Additionally, for the proposed bond, the tax rate supporting it would change after 17 years. The QSCB bonds will be for a term of 17 years. Therefore, the principal of $5.142 million will be paid off after 17 years. After this time, the tax rate will drop to $.074 for the project.
If you would like more information about the bond package, please do not hesitate to call me at 325/372-3771. Again, please come take a tour of the facilities. The rain was absolutely wonderful for our land, but tough on the students at San Saba Elementary School.
Leigh Ann Glaze
San Saba ISD
808 West Wallace
San Saba, Texas 76877
When a defining moment comes along, you can do one of two things. Define the moment, or let the moment define you.
- "Tin Cup "
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.