Superintendent Update: 2022-23 District Budget
Lewisville ISD Families and Communities,
The Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees at its August 29 meeting approved the district’s budget for the 2022-23 school year. The Board adopted a tax rate that is $0.07 lower than last year, and has decreased the tax rate by $0.18 since 2018-19. As a district, LISD has long been recognized for its fiscally conservative approach, and we will continue our work to always be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.
That vote caps off months of work by district leaders and the Board of Trustees to develop a budget that devotes resources to areas that matter the most - classroom instruction, safety and security, and pay increases to keep LISD’s compensation competitive with surrounding districts.
LISD this school year allotted an additional $3M this year to expand its safety and security team and put additional school resource officers throughout the district’s entire 127-square mile footprint. And truly, there is nothing more important than the safety of our students and staff.
The district must also factor in sending nearly $55M of locally-collected tax dollars back to the state through what is called recapture, and an additional $2M for increased fuel and utilities costs as a result of inflation. I know our families can understand those increases, as we are all experiencing rising costs in our home budgets in the same areas.
But our school funding mechanism at the state level is not designed to adjust to inflation, meaning the costs fall on school districts unless formulas are changed. When the legislature meets in the spring, we will be advocating for what we believe are common sense updates to how schools are funded, and we hope you will join us in asking our state leadership to prioritize the needs of school districts when building the state budget.
With the Comptroller’s optimistic forecast of a $27B surplus in the State’s budget for the 2022-2023 Biennium, we believe the legislature should prioritize school funding, and specifically increases in the basic allotment and the school safety allotment. The basic allotment is the legislatively mandated allocation of funds from the general revenue funds that goes to each school district to provide a basic level of education for the district's residents. Texas currently ranks in the bottom 10 states in the country for its funding of public schools. The current safety allotment in the formula generates $10 per student; a meager amount when considering what is needed to ensure the safety of our students.
Funding increases will help school districts in planning for compensation increases to attract high quality teachers for our students; addressing the academic and emotional needs of our students; covering higher costs due to inflation, and ensuring that our schools are safe for our students and communities.
Texas School funding is a complex formula, even for those who are deeply entrenched in the system. But we believe there is no more important investment than the one made into our public schools, and ensuring every Texas school student has access to educational opportunities that prepare them to thrive in a future they create.
Dr. Lori Rapp Superintendent of Schools