The inaction of the Texas Legislature has pushed Texas City ISD over the fiscal cliff. TCISD is scheduled to lose almost $11 million in state money for 2017-2018. Our hope for restoring ASATR funding lies in the hands of Governor Greg Abbott.
TEXAS CITY INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT
CONTACT: MELISSA TORTORICI, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
(409) 916-0114 email firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 5, 2017
Texas Legislature does not fund Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction (ASATR); TCISD and others to lose approximately $250 million
TEXAS CITY – 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 $11 million for the 2017-18 school year, or 14% 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 $11 million also. Texas City ISD is the only district this impacts in Galveston County.
Cynthia Lusignolo, Ed.D., 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 $11 million for Texas City ISD equates to approximately $1,200 less to spend per student, which is 14% of the total budget, or the equivalent of 1/3 of Texas City ISD’s teaching staff. 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 Governor Greg Abbott. The Governor can call a special session and include ASATR in the call of the special session. I hope every parent and community member will contact Governor Greg Abbott to let him know there is a dire need for a special session which includes ASATR funding. Time is of the essence as he will be making a decision regarding a special session this week.”
The Governor’s contact information is as follows:
Online Contact Form for Governor’s Office: https://gov.texas.gov/contact/
Governor’s Phone #: 512.463.1800
Governor’s Fax #: 512.463.1849