CCAISD could be sending $2M to the state in 2015 because of unfair school funding system


As property values increase, so do taxes. As CCAISD gets more tax dollars, the result is not what one would expect: More tax dollars for the district means that the state classifies Culberson County-Allamoore Independent School district as a property wealthy district.

According the Texas Education Code, ‘Wealth per student’  means the taxable value of property, as determined under Subchapter M, Chapter 403, Government Code, divided by the number of students in weighted average daily attendance.”

“The more we make, the more they take,” said Superintendent Marc Puig during Monday’s school board meeting. “It’s not fair, but that is the system.”

To date, CCAISD has had to return hundreds of thousands of dollars to the state because of what many observers consider to be an extremely flawed funding plan for Texas public schools. Mr. Puig announced on Monday that based on projections of almost $600 million in certified taxes for the upcoming school year, the district may have to pay back about $2 million.

He said that property values have doubled in the last three years.

“Fortunately, we have prepared for this in our budget,” said Mr. Puig. “We’re going to work our tails off to balance the budget, but we won’t have to do anything drastic as we did two years ago.”

Nonetheless, there was a silver lining amid the bad news about the 2015-16 school year. Mr. Puig reported that based upon “extremely conservative” budget projections, the district will add about $1.3 million to the fund balance this school year. “This is the largest injection of revenue in one year in the district’s history,” he said.

In other action, the board approved the purchase of three vehicles that will replace an aging fleet that has been deemed to be in poor or average

CCAISD could be sending $2M to the state in 2015 because of unfair school funding system condition. Two Chevy Suburbans, one a 1999 model and another a 2005 model will be replaced with a GMC Yukon, an equivalent of the Suburban, at a cost of $37,000 per vehicle. Also, the district will purchase a GMC Acadia, a “crossover” sports utility vehicle to replace a 2006 pickup at a cost of $27,326. The 2006 pickup will go to the maintenance department.

“We will not make these types of purchases until we can prove that we have the money,” said Mr. Puig.

The vehicles will be purchased from HGACBuy, a cooperative available to only to governments (including school districts). Also known as a “buy board,” HGAC makes it easier for governments to make vehicle purchases through heavy price discounts off standard retail sticker prices.

Also, trustees approved the following items:
•Sale of property to Refugio G. Corrales for $1,500; sale of property to Ralph Trujillo in Salt Flat for $1,500; and sale of property to Maria Elena Urias (Rivas Estates) for $5,280.
•Approved a retainer agreement for the district’s counsel, Steve Mitchell, for $1,000 per month
•Approved a retainer agreement for outside legal counsel, Walsh & Anderson, at a flat fee of $1,000 plus fees based upon need. This law firm, said Mr. Puig, specializes in school law, personnel issues and contracts.
•Approved the renewal of property/casual and workers compensation insurance with USI for the 2014-15 school year
•Approved Region 18 Solutions Order for professional development for administration, teachers and the board
•Approved Region 18 Information System agreement for 2014-15 for $15,655. The agreement provides CCAISD support for all its computer networks and includes national criminal history background checks for all employees
•Approved the Professional Development and Appraisal System (PDAS) calendar
•Approved the Professional Development and Appraisal System (PDAS) evaluators, which includes all principals, the superintendent and newly-added Brian Gibson, athletic director.


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