The Leander ISD Board of Trustees voted Thursday to call two elections for Nov. 8 that will have a direct, lasting impact on the district’s educational services and fiscal outlook.
“The Board made the decision to call these elections after extensive consideration and conversations with our community,” said LISD Superintendent Bruce Gearing, Ed.D.
LISD Board of Trustees President Trish Bode said, “We made this decision after months of deliberation. We look forward to visiting with the LISD community about how these elections will impact our schools and impact our LISD workforce.”
Proposition A on the November ballot is an Attendance Credit Election, which state law requires when a district’s revenues from property values exceed its calculated entitlement and the excess is due to the state through a process called recapture (also known as Robin Hood). If voters approve Proposition A, the school district will proceed with making its mandatory recapture payments to the state as required. If voters defeat Proposition A, the state could detach a portion of the district’s total property value — effectively shrinking the tax base. This “Detachment of Territory” is permanent and irreversible, even if in future years the property values within the district make it no longer subject to recapture.
Proposition B is a Voter-Approval Tax Rate Election, or VATRE. It would ratify the action the Board took on August 18, 2022 by adopting an increase in the tax rate for Maintenance & Operations, which is the component of a school district tax rate that pays for operating expenses such as teacher salaries.
If voters approve Proposition B, the district will see an estimated $32 million net increase in revenue, which would fund pay increases for teachers and other employees that trustees approved earlier this year. The additional revenue will prevent future cuts to personnel and programs — especially because LISD is now subject to recapture at a greater level than past years.
Because of state-initiated reductions in the M&O rate, and the Board’s action to lower the LISD Interest & Sinking tax rate, taxpayers will see a reduction in the overall tax rate of more than 6 cents per $100 in property valuation if Proposition B is approved.
“If Proposition B does not pass, we expect a deficit of $35 million,” Gearing said. “That deficit could impact future pay raises for teachers and the sustainability of educational and extracurricular programs.
“State law and the state school finance system require us to put this decision before the voters,” he added. “We encourage everyone to participate in the upcoming election.”
We understand the issues on the ballot can be complicated to understand. To learn the facts, you can read more on our informational webpage, Props A & B: Making Sense of Our ¢ents. In addition, district leaders are available to speak and present at informational meetings. Schedule one for your group today.