For us, it feels like the 2017-2018 school year is in session. Our entire staff is involved in our summer professional development program called Learning@Lovejoy. We will be in professional development this week and next; for teachers, it feels like the first day of school.
As you know, the Texas Legislature is involved in special session, and included in the governor's call is school finance. We remain committed to do everything we can to increase the likelihood we receive the same level of state funding next year as we received last year.
The important issue on the table at this time is the funding known as Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction (ASATR) which is worth ~$6 million in state aid. In 2005, when the state compressed local property taxes, the legislature promised this level of continued funding. Unless they take action during this special session, the legislature is posed to renege on this promise.
Lovejoy coordinated an ASATR Day at the Capitol on Monday of this week; ~ 120 Lovejoy taxpayers and staff travelled to Austin to meet with our legislature to implore them to keep the ASATR promise. We also coordinated this event with many of the other 150+ districts statewide who are facing this loss of ASATR funds. I want to thank all of our parents, taxpayers, school board members, and staff who gave a day to go to Austin to advocate for Lovejoy ISD. The turnout on Monday certainly reminded me why I am proud to serve this community as your superintendent. Please note some of the photos we took during our day at the Capitol:
I will keep you posted as to what is happening in Austin. In the event the legislature keeps their promise and returns our ASATR funding for next year, I feel certain our Board of Trustees will revisit the fees which they adopted for the 2017-2018 school year, and make changes as appropriate. Legislative action will fall into one of 3 scenarios; 1) full funding of ASATR, 2) funding of a portion of ASATR, or 3) no change and LISD will lose all of our $6 million in ASATR funds.
Thanks for your partnership as we work together to ensure your children receive the best possible school experience.