State Fails to Provide Additional Resources
On behalf of the RISD Board of Trustees, I am extremely disappointed in the results of the recent Special Legislative Session regarding school finance.
The Texas House passed a responsible bill (House Bill 21) that would have given RISD an appropriate and needed increase in state funding of approximately $7- $9 million dollars per year.
The Texas Senate then substituted their own bill (CSHB 21) that left RISD, along with most school districts across Texas, with $0 in additional funding.
The Texas Constitution makes clear the state's responsibility to provide for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of free public schools. Yet by not supporting public education, the actions of the Texas Senate leave RISD taxpayers responsible for a steadily increasing share of financing our local schools, while the State's share continues to decline.
While property values and taxes continue to rise in RISD, the state continues to decrease its share of funding our schools. State funding to RISD is projected to decrease by nearly $23 million, causing a drop of $650 per student over two years.
State Aid Student Enrollment* State Aid Per Student
2016-2017 $ 88,453,253 36,672 $ 2,412.00
2017-2018 $ 75,214,524 36,861 $ 2,040.50
2018-2019 $ 65,736,792 37,325 $ 1,761.20
*Average Daily Attendance
In order to provide our teachers a well-deserved 3% raise this year, we were forced to budget into savings by nearly $6.3 million. Additional teaching and special education staff to support our growing student enrollment, plus cost increases for student transportation and utilities consumed an even greater portion of our limited operating funds.
We will continue working with our legislators to help them understand the important needs of our students and teachers that require additional dollars if we are to educate each student to meet and exceed the state's expectations under the Texas accountability system.
Thanks to all of you who contacted your legislator to support RISD this year. I ask everyone who values strong schools in our community to remain involved and support those things that will help our students and teachers.
Richardson ISD Board of Trustees