As DISD Sees Academic Progress, Austin's ‘recapture' of Funds Seems Especially Cruel Blow

The enthusiastic exchanges of high-fives throughout Dallas ISD and among its supporters these past few days are certainly warranted: The district does seem to be doing a lot right, as most recently evidenced by across-the-board growth in the state's STAAR assessment testing.If only the financial picture was as bright. Instead, things are about to get worse. In the 2018-19 school year, the threat of DISD being forced to send millions of scarce tax dollars back to the state becomes reality.Though 90 percent of the district's students are poor, the combination of rising property values and declining enrollment will make DISD a property-wealthy "recapture" district for the first time. That means that at a time when the district needs more money to continue initiatives that clearly are working, this district will have to surrender at least $39. 4 million to the state's general fund as a result of Austin's convoluted school funding formula.That should worry all Dallas residents, regardless of whether you have children at home. Strong public schools are essential to improving the economic health of the entire city and all of Texas. And the timing of the recapture trigger seems most cruel, coming as DISD seems to be gaining academic traction.  Continue reading...

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