The Houston Independent School District (HISD) was mandated to put Proposition 1 on the ballot for the November 8 election. What you need to know is that voting FOR Proposition 1 does not simply purchase “attendance credits.” Due to a robust and thriving real estate market, Houston is considered “property-wealthy” and now HISD may be required to make a recapture payment to the state under the Robin Hood plan (Chapter 41). Voting FOR this proposition will force HISD to send $162 million local dollars to the state of Texas. If HISD goes into recapture, it will send over a billion dollars to the state in the next four years.
If voters vote AGAINST this proposition, the Texas Education Agency will detach a portion of HISD’s commercial property and reassign it to other school districts in Texas, where it will be taxed at a higher rate than HISD’s tax rate. Either option will result in local dollars leaving Houston. HISD is the largest school district in the state and nearly 80 percent of its students are economically disadvantaged. This can lead to severe consequences such as additional teacher layoffs and school closures.
What can we do about this broken system?
This summer, the Texas Supreme Court upheld our current school finance system but warned that the legislature needed to address and correct the system once and for all. As the largest school district in Texas, HISD and Houstonians can set the tone for the next legislative session. HAR joins other community stakeholders and recommends voting AGAINST this confusing proposition. A vote AGAINST will give HAR members and HISD constituents the opportunity to work together with our state lawmakers and take action towards reforming our current school finance system to protect our children’s education and their futures.