Tax Rollback Election On HoldIn the Express that was delivered recently to all Coppell ISD homeowners, I thanked everyone for their support of our bond election and also discussed the likelihood of Coppell ISD facing a tax rate election this fall. As an aside, we had earlier indicated that the bond election could result in a tax rate increase of up to two cents; with our final work done, we are pleased that this increase will actually be less than a one-half cent increase. However, because the state legislature did not pass any significant funding additions for school districts again this session, we continue to operate at 2005-06 funding levels and do not expect any significant change to those levels for at least two more years.Throughout the year and the budget process, we have made cuts to our budget totaling approximately $3.9 million, while still providing modest pay increases for our teachers. These cuts included not rehiring 37 positions, mostly teachers. Although we are still facing a $4.1 million deficit for the 2009-2010 school year (after all of the cuts), we have determined that we can postpone a tax rate election until 2010. We will "fund" our deficit by spending part of our fund balance again for this next year. This will put our fund balance at the lowest level we believe is healthy (less than 20% of expenditures). In order to maintain solid credit ratings (which in turn save the taxpayers money in the form of lower interest costs on our debt), we need to maintain this minimum level of fund balance.
We understand that these are difficult economic times for all families, and like you, we understand that cuts are sometimes necessary. At the same time, we know it is important to maintain our outstanding schools and to continue to provide excellent educational opportunities for all of our students. Because we can wait another year, we feel that as good stewards of our taxpayers' dollars, we should postpone any tax rate increase until it is absolutely necessary. We anticipate that we will be forced to look at an election in September 2010. In the interim, Coppell ISD will be holding a series of community forums to better communicate our educational goals as well as our financial situation. We encourage each of you to attend these forums over the course of the next year, and let us know your thoughts and comments.
We are all blessed to be part of such a caring community, and especially one that recognizes the value of a strong public education. We thank you all again for your support of the district, and look forward to another fabulous year in Coppell ISD!
President, Board of Trustees