In order to help keep BISD staff informed of current issues in school finance, I want to provide you some additional details prior to Spring Break.
BISD recently received disturbing news from Austin concerning House Bill 275 (HB275). HB275 calls for the state to use a portion of the rainy day fund to meet current 2010-11 financial obligations to school districts. If this bill is not passed or is vetoed by Governor Perry, the financial picture of BISD changes dramatically. BISD could lose an additional $10 million in funds the district has earned under current law and the state is responsible for paying. (This is above the $20-$46 million in proposed cuts for the 2011-13 fiscal years.)
We have been advised by our state representatives that the passage of this bill is very likely. However, if this bill is not passed, or signed by the governor, it means the only way for BISD to fulfill its current financial obligations for the remainder of the 2010-11 school year is to take funds from the district's fund balance. Therefore, funds the district planned on using to balance the 2011-12 budget would now have to be used to meet financial obligations for the 2010-11 school year. Hard decisions have already been made, and if HB275 is not passed and signed, BISD will be faced with even more difficult decisions in current and future years.
Despite what the govenor says, let me remind you that this financial situation is not the result of anything being done in BISD. These funding issues are a direct result of the economy and decisions made in Austin, by the State Legislature.
I am proud of the fact that the staff has worked to help make BISD one of the most financially efficient school districts in the state of Texas. It is because of you that we have a fund balance to use to help during these difficult financial times.
In the days ahead, I encourage you to contact your legislator, the lieutenant governor and the governor. Encourage them to support legislation that fulfills the State's financial obligations to public schools. This includes equitable funding for all school districts, particularly those like BISD who have been underfunded for years, and supporting HB275. The time to act is now. If we wait to speak up, it could be to late.
Representative Kelly Hancock - E-mail
Representative Todd Smith - E-mail
Representative Vicki Truitt - E-mail
Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst - E-mail
Governor Rick Perry - E-mail