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The Texas Legislature is in session, and lawmakers have prioritized public school finance reform, teacher pay raises and property tax relief as top issues to address. 

But before we get into what lawmakers are discussing, it’s helpful to know how Dallas ISD is funded and why many believe the model is unsustainable.

Dallas ISD, like other school districts in Texas, is funded through both the state general revenue and local property tax revenue. As the state revenue has been declining, property taxes have been rising to cover this shortfall in school districts across Texas. This continued increase in property taxes is clearly unsustainable. 

Meanwhile, Dallas ISD is projected to lose about $40 million in funding under the Robin Hood provision. Texas lawmakers enacted the recapture provision in 1993 so “property-rich” districts would help even the funding with “property-poor” districts. However, considering Dallas ISD–which serves a student population that is 90-percent low-income—as a “property-rich” district is clearly not what lawmakers had in mind 25 years ago.

There is reason for optimism for school finance reform. Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas leadership have repeatedly pointed to our successful Dallas ISD initiatives as those to fund and support: financially rewarding teachers for in-class performance so school districts retain top educators; incentivizing high-performing teachers and campus leaders to work at the lowest-performing schools; focusing on early childhood education; and opening collegiate academies where students can earn college credit and get real-world experience from industry partners.

It’s no surprise Texas leadership and lawmakers are looking to replicate the successes we are seeing in Dallas ISD, as our number of Improvement Required schools has dropped from 43 in 2013–2014 to four in 2017–2018. I am committed to talking and working with Texas lawmakers and doing everything in my ability as a trustee to assist with school finance reform and property tax relief as the legislative session progresses.   

Other District 2 News

Eleven student-athletes from Hillcrest, Woodrow Wilson, and North Dallas high schools participated in National Signing Day and publicly committed to accept college and university scholarships to fund their educations while playing sports.

Andrew “Jack” Blair from William Lipscomb Elementary and Giavanna Cormier from Geneva Heights Elementary are among the 15 Dallas ISD students who advanced to the County Spelling Bee.

Read for Me is happening March 23 at W.H. Adamson High School. Read for Me is a free, interactive literacy event for all grade levels featuring activities, authors, guest speakers, and more. There will be free breakfast, lunch, giveaways and books! Additionally, the World Languages Asian Festival will be represented at Read for Me. To learn more and register, visit: www.dallasisd.org/readforme.

Dustin Marshall is the District 2 representative on the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees.

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