By Seth Cano | Editor in Chief
After months of endless debate, the Richardson ISD community has reached a conclusion over the tax ratification measure. On November 6th, the majority voted in favor of the measure.
Acorrding to the Dallas Independent School District website, a TRE (Tax Ratification Measure) is a special election called by the school district’s board of trustees, asking voters to approve a tax increase above the current operating rate.
The current operating tax rate in RISD has been $1.04 for the last eleven years. In order for a school district operating tax rate to exceed $1.04, voter approval through a TRE is required.
The new district operating tax rate is $1.17. This tax increase will help with maintenance and operations at school.
Also according to the RISD website, the tax increase will help improve pay for teachers and staff, adding positions for teachers, increasing security, supporting special educaiton., and help with maintaining class sizes.
This thirteen cent increase in the district tax rate would generate an estimate of $24.8 million operating funds.
If this measure were to have not been approved, the current operating tax of $1.04 would continue and the board would have to examine all areas of operation and reduce the current operating budget.
This likely would have lead to increased class sizes, more fees for extracurricular activities, hiring freezes, no teacher/staff salary increase, and reduced course offerings/programs.
“For those who believe in safe schools, outstanding teachers, and maintaining a strong district that meets the high expectations of our community, this action could no longer be avoided,” said Justin Bono, Richardson ISD Board President.
“From our highest achieving schools to our campuses and students in need of additional resources, Richardson ISD can no longer operate on the reduced state funding and revenue generated by a minimum operating tax rate.”
The approval of this measure now allows for increased pay for teachers and staff, expansion of CTE (Career Technical Education) programs, funding balance restoration, additional resource officers and assistant principals.
Dr. Jeanie Stone, Richardson ISD Superintendent, was thrilled with the outcome of this election.
“We are thrilled with this election outcome and that our Richardson ISD community has, once again, demonstrated its commitment to and support of our students, teachers, and schools,” said Dr. Stone.
“We are anxious to get to work implementing the measures we promised to the community. On behalf of our students, teachers, staff and the Board of Trustees, I want to say thank you to all,” added Dr. Stone. Despite the increase in the tax rate, there is some gain in the end.