Midland ISD’s approach to tax elections starts with transparency

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Tommy Bishop

MISD

Question: The tax ratification bonds and elections will likely take place in 2023 and 2024. How are you approaching the conversation and where can the council do better than what other councils have done over the past eight years?

The quick response to address the conversation involves transparency to the public. We have already started working to include the community in discussions about school facilities and funding. Below are some bullet points for each.

  • The LRFPC (Long Range Facilities Planning Committee) will make its recommendations at the council meeting scheduled for October. The committee met for eight months and developed a community recommendation. According to his recommendation, the council could bring together a committee of community members to develop a link. I hope the committee members will be transparent with the community during the process. I would suggest that a few people responsible for the committee meet with the community and give updates and receive feedback between committee meetings to report back to the whole committee. I believe that a well-balanced plan with community input will provide us with the best possible opportunities for any eventual bond election results. In my view, a well-balanced plan would consider student growth, safety, and a maintenance plan while weighing the burden this would add to our taxpayers. We need to learn from the feedback we received after the last link.
  • A TRE (Tax Ratification Election) is not inevitable but may be necessary if state legislators do not change current law. HB3 requires us to dedicate a certain percentage of funds to instruction. I agree that teacher compensation is our top priority followed by student safety, but we need to be able to meet our current obligations. The MISD tax rate has been compressed to the floor based on current real estate valuations. That, coupled with the large Chapter 49 payments owed by the district to the state, may require action on behalf of the board. The current law contains a disclaimer which is currently due to expire in 2024.


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