For those unfamiliar with the "Robin Hood" mechanism, this is a practice whereby when a school district exceeds its Tier I entitlement with monies levied by its tax rate, the state can “recapture” those extra funds. Recapture meaning property wealthy districts share their local tax revenue with the state to ensure that all public schools in Texas receive equitable funding. Here's the link to an article by Morgan Smith (The Texas Tribune, Marcxh 31 2011) titled "How to Navigate Texas' School Finance System" - which explains Texas school districts' financial entitlements far better than I can: http://bit.ly/eiKDuu
But this is a practice I've never quite understood. If a district is so rich it can afford to give money away, why not lower the tax rate for citizens in that district and put a little more money in the pockets of their families. Or better yet, give our teachers a raise. Besides, as I understood it - once upon a time - the Texas lottery was conceived to subsidize education.
Again, going back to the Broadcaster article, DPISD will use these addtional funds to make significant progress towards balancing the current budget deficit of over $8 million and to fund numerous non-core classes and programs that would otherwise be on the chopping block next summer. Okay. I'm not a math whiz. Never claimed to be. I write fiction, thankfully. But does this make sense? In my book, $6.4 million in increased tax revenue doesn't come close to cancelling an over $8 million deficit - let alone support any programs in jeopardy of falling by the wayside due to a lack of funding. In an article by Bobby Vasquez (InsideDeepPark.com - November 20 - http://insidedp.com/news2), the deficit is reportedly closer to $14 million.
I understand (again, based on information in the Broadcaster article) the average single family homeowner will see their school taxes increased by $113 per year or $9.42 per month. Granted this seems a minimal amount. But what good will it do? Will we see yet another tax increase in the not so distant future?
Hmmm...me thinks logic says "yes." Remember the date is December 15th, folks. Get out and vote!