85th Legislative Session Priorities
Public education is a partnership between school district and the state of Texas. With rising academic standards set by the Texas Legislature, each district should have appropriate state resources to educate all students. Committed to setting high expectations for all students, Round Rock ISD has identified the following legislative priorities for the Texas Legislature’s consideration.
We support the following school finance priorities…
Increasing the basic allotment and providing districts flexibility with those dollars
Round Rock ISD Impact: Local taxpayers in Round Rock will lose $18 million this year due to recapture.
Solution: Allocate more state funding towards the basic allotment.
Addressing recapture and allow communities to keep local tax dollars
Round Rock ISD Impact: With 48,000 students in a fast growth district, Round Rock ISD uses every penny raised by local tax dollars to support its programs and compensate its educators. Round Rock ISD is projected to make recapture payments between $9-11 million during 2017-18.
Solution: Consider giving districts a credit on their recapture payment by providing the transportation allotment, something property wealthy districts do not receive. Adjust the first equalized wealth level to a higher level.
Allow districts to have the same authority as cities and counties to increase the tax rate by a prescribed number of pennies. In conjunction, increase the golden pennies to 8 cents and decrease copper pennies to 9 cents
Round Rock ISD Impact: Round Rock ISD will lose $18 million and will have to consider using its fund balance, money raised from local property taxes.
Solution: Local control should be consistent for municipalities and school districts.
Increase state funding formulas by updating outdated elements including the basic allotment, transportation allotment, special population weights, and the cost of education index to align with actual costs.
Round Rock ISD Impact: The District is estimated to receive $2.6 million in transportation allotment funds, 21% of total $12.4 million cost. If funding formulas included the full benefit of the cost of education index within funding formulas, the District would receive an additional in $9.7 million.
Solution: Update state funding formulas to provide resources that match the cost of services.
Within the state funding formula, include an index for inflation that provides a mechanism for funding to parallel increasing costs
Round Rock ISD Impact: If no additional funds are provided, the District will have less resources to meet the State’s rising academic standards.
Solution: Allocate additional funding towards the basic allotment and update formula to include mechanism for inflation.
Adequately fund the Instructional Materials Allotment (IMA) to ensure districts are able to meet increasing costs and adequately fund required materials adoptions as well as technology
Round Rock ISD Impact: Round Rock ISD serves nearly 48,000 students and must provide adequate materials and technology to support an education aligned with the skills needed to be successful.
Solution: Pass legislation to adequately fund the IMA to ensure districts are able to meet increasing costs and adequately fund required materials adoptions as well as technology.
Provide necessary and ongoing funding for any new initiatives (i.e. no unfunded mandates)
Round Rock ISD Impact: District will spend about $4 million on the employer contribution requirement, increasing each year. There is no funding provided to cover this directed expenditure. The cost to install cameras in 129 special education classrooms, along with cabling, server storage and related costs is expected to be approximately $475,000.
Solution: Allocate sufficient resources for new initiatives required of school districts.
We support the following academic accountability priorities…
Amend A-F for schools to ensure it is a meaningful measure of performance
Round Rock ISD Impact: Round Rock ISD schools will embrace accountability and strive to meet its own high expectations.
Solution: Ensure A-F truly reflects the challenges and outcomes of our students.
Amend the accountability system to allow districts to receive credit for students earning an associate’s degree, completing IB courses, completing Internships and other post-secondary measures
Round Rock ISD Impact: Round Rock ISD has an IB program in 8 schools and an Early College High School that could benefit from the change in the law.
Solution: Add the aforementioned outcomes in Domain IV of the accountability system.
Protect District of Innovation law to ensure ISDs continue to have local control over student achievement
Round Rock ISD Impact: After careful deliberation as per the law, Round Rock ISD is in the process of adopting its own innovation plan.
Solution: If lawmakers are serious about school performance, then they must give this initiative support.
Keep End-Of-Course (EOC) individual graduation committee option.
Round Rock ISD Impact: A cornerstone of Round Rock ISD is its drive to serve all students. IGCs allow RRISD to ensure our students successfully graduate and meet the criteria outlined to be successful in their postsecondary life.
Solution: Continue to support the End-of-Course (EOC) Individual Graduation Committee option.
Amend the accountability system to add more weight for continuously enrolled students
Round Rock ISD Impact: By more heavily weighting the scores of continuously enrolled students, the ratio of efforts of District campuses to student outcomes is more adequately reflected in the scores.
Solution: Pass legislation to amend the accountability system to add more weight for continuously enrolled students.
We support the following Post-Secondary Readiness priorities…
Continue to support funding for Dual Credit
Round Rock ISD Impact: The associated costs needed to support the Early College High School is approximately $250,000 a year which covers the tuition/staff costs.
Solution: Provide additional state funding to the Early College rider in Article III of the state budget.
Continue to support funding for Texas Workforce Commission programs, such as JET and Skills Development Fund, which support CTE programs
Round Rock ISD Impact: RRISD has approximately 40 programs where students can earn a certification while in high school. Students earned over 6,000 industry certifications.
Solution: Consider using the excess funds in the Rainy Day Fund to add funding to the aforementioned programs.
Expand immunity for CTE students participating in internships
Round Rock ISD Impact: There are 250 students enrolled in CTE classes at Round Rock ISD high schools. If students receive immunity, it is expected to increase district placement options with private businesses.
Solution: Add CTE students to the statutory definition of “professional employee of a school district” providing these students with the same immunities while they are working in their programs as regular school employees.
Move technology application courses under CTE for weighted funding
Round Rock ISD Impact: Weighted funding would allow the District to buy equipment to support Tech Apps courses.
Solution: Move the Tech Apps courses under the CTE umbrella to allow those courses to receive weighted funding.
Allow ISDs to work with Texas State Technical College (TSTC) to provide dual credit/ certification programs
Round Rock ISD Impact: Currently ACC does not offer all program areas that Round Rock ISD students are interested in. Creating a smooth pathway for Round Rock ISD to partner with TSTC would allow the District to utilize a great resource to serve students.
Solution: Pass legislation to allow ISDs to work with TSTC to provide dual credit/certification programs.
Support funding for P-Tech/ ECHS model
Round Rock ISD Impact: Round Rock ISD is in a unique position to partner with a variety of technology companies in the Central Texas area. With Dell, Samsung and HP in close proximity to the District, a partnership for a P-Tech/ECHS program would be an asset to our students, who could begin working in high-wage technology careers directly after graduating the program.
Solution: Pass legislation that would support funding for P-Tech/ECHS models
We oppose a school choice/voucher program without accountability and transparency…
Support accountability for taxpayer dollars and student achievement through state assessments for any form of voucher program (i.e. tuition tax-credit)
Round Rock ISD Impact: A voucher program will further deplete the underfunded Foundation School Program.
Solution: Do not pass legislation establishing a voucher program without transparency and accountability to taxpayers.
Keep up to date with education bills that were discussed in the Legislature.
- TASA Bill Tracker (Texas Association of School Administrators)
- Governmental Relations (Texas Association of School Boards)
Contact Your Legislators
Round Rock ISD is represented by three State Representatives and two State Senators.
To learn more about ballot issues, please refer to the following web sites for information: