Call to Action from Superintendent Brown
As many of you are already aware, the Texas Governor has called our state representatives back to Austin for an unprecedented fourth special session.
This fourth special session of the legislature included an order to consider school funding and vouchers, and we are asking you to contact your elected legislators today to make them aware of your opinions as constituents and voters on these two issues.
We have created an easy way for LDISD residents to contact their legislators on these important issues. Simply click on this link to begin the quick and easy process of having your voice heard.
Since January, the Texas legislature has been considering two important issues related to public education –
- critically needed additional funding for our schools, students and teachers, and
- creating subsidies for private schools, known as vouchers or education savings accounts.
As our elected board of trustees and I believe, our students, teachers, and those who support them critically need additional funding, LDISD has not received an increase in basic per-pupil funding since before the pandemic, while inflation and the costs to operate have risen dramatically since 2019. Additionally, while increases in property values have created higher property tax bills, the excess funds collected from local tax payers is returned to the state through the required recapture program, which results in sending local tax dollars back to the state for their general use.
Property value increases do not increase the operating budgets of school districts, and those funds instead benefit the state and its surplus of tax dollars.
The legislature has not provided schools with funds to keep up with inflation, yet some elected officials in Austin want to spend hundreds of millions of public tax dollars to create vouchers, also known as education savings accounts. This would allow public funds (your tax dollars) to be used for private school tuition.
Private schools accepting those public funds choose the children they want to attend their school, do not have to accept all students, nor do they have to maintain the same school safety requirements, or follow the Texas curriculum. Private schools funded by public dollars are not accountable to taxpayers for the academic success of students or for financial transparency, ensuring the responsible use of tax dollars.
The idea that school vouchers will create more competition for schools is a false argument. There is only competition when the rules are the same, and there would be no rules for private schools that will have no accountability to the public for the tax dollars they may receive.
I hope you will take action to contact your legislators and let them know you support the strong public education system in LDISD and you believe it is necessary to put our Falcons First.
Thank you for considering taking action to support students, teachers, and public education in our community.
Dr. Kristin N. Brown
Superintendent of Schools