Advocacy for Plano ISD
At the January 24, 2016 regular board meeting the Plano ISD Board of Trustees adopted the Legislative Priorities for the 85th legislative session that begins on January 10, 2017. In June 2016, a subcommittee of three Board Members was formed to consider legislative priorities for the 85th Legislative Session. The Plano ISD Legislative Priorities are derived from inclusive conversation among Trustees and district administration. Additionally, in-common legislative priorities are considered upon collaboration with peer districts.
Superintendent Letter to Plano ISD Property Tax Payers
You may have recently received your property tax bill from the Collin County Tax Office. Unless you are a taxpayer age 65 or older or disabled for whom school property taxes are frozen, your taxes are probably higher than last year. This is true for most taxpayers, even though the Plano ISD tax rate remained the same as last year.
School Board Adopts Resolution in Opposition to Bills that Diverting Public Dollars Away from Public Education
At their April 7 meeting, the Plano ISD Board of Trustees adopted a resolution in opposition to vouchers, taxpayer savings grants, tax credits and other mechanisms that reduce public education funding. The school board voted to adopt the resolution (see related agenda item description) to make the school district's position abundantly clear to state legislators.
2015 Legislative Priorities
Since the 84th Texas Legislature convened on January 13, Plano ISD school board members and administrators have visited with legislators in Austin to discuss the following legislative priorities developed by the board.
Judge Issues Findings in Texas School Finance Lawsuit
August 28, 2014 - State District Judge John Dietz issued a final judgment declaring the state's school finance system unconstitutional on several premises. All the school district plaintiff groups succeeded on their claims. Judge Dietz held that the Calhoun County ISD plaintiffs had proven that the current school finance system has evolved into an unconstitutional statewide property tax and fails to sufficiently fund Texas schools at the level required to provide a constitutionally adequate education.
Texas School Finance System Ruled Unconstitutional
Feb. 4, 2013 - State District Judge John Dietz ruled that the Texas school finance system is unconstitutional by ruling in favor of the Calhoun County ISD plaintiffs on their two principle claims of adequacy and statewide property tax. Judge Dietz held that the school finance system has evolved into an unconstitutional state property tax and that the system fails to provide the plaintiff districts access to funding sufficient to provide a constitutionally adequate education.
Plano ISD Board of Trustees Joins Lawsuit
to Challenge State's School Finance System
In November, 2011, the Plano ISD Board of Trustees unanimously voted to join with other Texas public school districts in a lawsuit against the State of Texas. The school board passed a resolution retaining the services of Haynes and Boone, LLP, in its efforts to challenge the state school finance system. The district asserts that the current system and level of funding impair the education available to students within the district, as well as the ability of the district to provide adequate education to students.
Even though our school district experienced recent major reductions in services and staff and the state introduced a new accountability system, Plano ISD remains committed to providing an excellent education for all students. Precedent indicates that the state only allocates more funding for education as a result of court action. (See Robin Hood History.)
The Coalition of Revenue-Contributing Schools is a new grassroots organization advocating on behalf of school districts designated as Chapter 41 districts in the Texas Education Code, which are subject to “Robin Hood” provisions in the law.
The school board authorized the expenditure of public funds for this effort. Plano ISD anticipates its annual contribution to the lawsuit to be approximately $60,000, resulting from a charge of $1 per WADA that participating districts will pay. In a previous lawsuit, a judgment in favor of the school districts allowed Plano ISD to recover 88% of its legal fees.
Plano ISD School Board President Tammy Richards said that Plano ISD expects the lawsuit could provide new funds from the state, resulting in a renewed ability to provide a quality education. “We will join with our fellow districts in pursuit of an adequate funding system for Plano ISD and all Texas school children," said Ms. Richards. "While I am pleased that our district has navigated the choppy waters of the school finance system thus far, a permanent funding solution for public education in Texas is long overdue."