LISD School Board President Mark Griffin says the formula used by the state to fund school districts has run its course. He agrees with City Council that property taxes are high, so he proposes we find another way to fund public education in the State of Texas.
Griffin says that even though property taxes increased, that doesn't mean there's a windfall of cash in the LISD. "There's a formula that's devised through legislature that tells us how much we can have based on our values," says Griffin.
Griffin says school districts get a certain amount of money based on what the state says they should get. In Texas, schools get a percentage of their funding from property taxes and the other percentage from the state. So when property taxes increase, like they did in Lubbock, the state cuts the amount of money it gives to the LISD. More funding comes from the taxpayers, but the district isn't necessarily getting more money.
County Commissioners Patti Jones and Kenny Maines weighed in on the property tax debate as well. While they are concerned about increasing valuations, both say the formula for determining property values is effective.
Because property values are so high, Griffin says it's time we start finding bold, creative, new ways to fund public schools. He agrees with the city council that we can no longer fund schools solely on the backs of our property owners.
Griffin suggests getting away from property taxes as the main source of income for local school districts. He supports Lt. Governor David Dewhurst's plan. That plan calls for cutting property taxes in half, and increasing sales taxes by about a penny to support public schools. Right now, schools don't get any funding from sales tax revenues. This alternative concept is now on the back burner in Austin, but it is still being discussed.