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Crosby ISD asks Austin, How bad?

AUSTIN– Crosby ISD’s Superintendent went to the State Capitol to find out how bad in cut backs was it going to be on the third most efficient school district in the State.
“It’s still nebulous,” stated Dr. Keith Moore, “the last time I looked, unless it has changed since last week the Senate is looking to cut about $4 billion from the education budget and the house is at about $7.8 billion. But it is improving, I think if it is only about $4 billion that most people that are working in education will be able to continued even though by the time that trickles down to Crosby ISD that is still a multimillion dollar reduction. That would be the difference in a three million dollar reduction and a five million dollar reduction.”
That is the difference between a hand whipping and a board whipping for the district. We are still facing cutting back about $3.4 million

Dr. Moore’s understanding is that the House has the bill that the State can afford and the Senate has the bill everyone would like to pass and so now they are in negotiations on how to marry the two. Everyone likes the Senate bill but the question is how to fund it. The Senate is seeking more ways to raise the money in a hostile environment for raising more money.
The hope is that the House and Senate will mediate in the middle. This puts the district in the situation of having to guess but really having no clues to guess with, so off the Austin went Dr. Moore to find out what he could about school financing.
Currently, the district is cutting as much as they can without cutting too deep into the muscle of education.
Local representative Dan Huberty, indicates that the House is looking to fund schools at the maximum tax rate of $1.17 per $100 valuation, and compare that to schools that are not at that rate including some at $1 or less. Then the House will be seeing that those taxed at a higher rate are doing all that they can to raise money at the local level. The intent is to then put more of the burden on those districts that are property richer and have not needed the higher tax rate can withstand an increase in local rates to pay for their standard of education.
The problem will occur according to Dr. Moore when most districts have to go to $1.17 and in Texas by Constitutional Law there is a requirement of discretionary leeway for School Boards to determine from the needs of their constituance. Lawsuits will begin popping up as districts note that they have a de facto State mandated rate of $1.17.
“I feel for those districts that have reached for a higher target revenue because (although they could come back and say there is to be a bare 11% reduction overall) if they do proportionally base the funding on those that are trying to raise all they can locally they will be hit a lot harder on their tax base. There are some districts around us that are above the state average in how much they are spending per student per year it could be that they would be getting cut in how much they spend on each student and being raised on how much their tax rate is. That would be a double whammy.”
“We are set up for the single whammy, we are preparing for the reduction but since we are below average in how much we are spending per student per year an equalization would only benefit us at Crosby ISD.” said Dr. Moore.
Dr. Moore as per previous interviews came to Crosby ISD to make sure students learned how to make educational standards the budget cuts were not his idea but he has taken it in stride. “I’m grateful we have not had to have a mass lay off. We had major program changes