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Bipartisan Texas Reps Urge TEA To Aid Struggling Cy-Fair ISD

In a joint effort reflecting bipartisan concern, members of the Texas House representing Cy-Fair ISD have made a fervent plea to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to address a pressing budgetary shortfall.

The district, facing a staggering $138 million deficit for the upcoming school year, is grappling with tough decisions, including significant staffing reductions that could impact the quality of education provided to students.

The essence of the matter lies in the district’s longstanding provision of a local optional homestead exemption (LOHE), aimed at alleviating property tax burdens for residents

According to the letter, written by Rep. Tom Oliverson, the state does not recognize the reduced taxable values when determining the allocation of funds under the Foundation School Program. Consequently, the district has suffered a staggering reduction of over $60 million in state aid this year alone.

The bipartisan group, which includes, Reps. Sam Harless, Jon Rosenthal, Jarvis Johnson, Lacey Hull, and Mike Schofield, emphasize the legislative intent behind rate compression bills passed in recent sessions. These bills are aimed at incentivizing school districts to lower property taxes by assuring them of proportionate state funding to offset revenue losses.

“Cy-Fair ISD recently notified 50 librarians that their positions have been eliminated – the consequences of the shortfall are being felt already by our districts. We appreciate your work on this issue and request that you utilize surplus funds available to your agency to help fill these gap,” the letter concludes.

The recent board meeting on Monday saw an impassioned display of community activism, with parents and students vehemently opposing the proposed cuts. Signs advocating for the preservation of librarian positions dotted the packed room, underscoring the profound impact these cuts could have on the educational environment. Parents and students alike voiced their concerns, attributing the budgetary strain to both the local board and state leadership.

The call for transparency regarding staffing decisions and a plea for immediate action to secure additional funding reverberated throughout the meeting. Parents demanded clarity on the district’s plans for addressing the deficit, urging proactive measures to safeguard the educational experience for students.

During the meeting, board members disclosed the bipartisan initiative to petition TEA for the release of surplus funds. The hope is that these funds could provide much-needed relief and enable the district to avert drastic staffing cuts. With the budget approval deadline looming on July 1, the urgency of securing additional state funding cannot be overstated.

Staff
Staff
Written by RA News staff.

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