UPDATE: But- as suspected- justified. with a paltry 8.7% of the voters bothering to turn out the Plano ISD tax rate goes up based on a 63% to 37% margin. The 91.3% who didn’t bother to vote have abrogated their right to say on what their taxes are. National bankruptcy at ALL levels of government will come from continuing political apathy.
How do you measure arrogance? The county tax statements already sent to us ALREADY HAS THE PROPOSED PLANO ISD TAX INCREASE FACTORED IN! If you doubt us, check your own. They are NOT waiting for you- the voters- to give your approval.
The Empower Texans / Texans for Fiscal Responsibility team has some of the finest minds on governmental fiscal policy available locally. Here they analyze the Plano ISD proposal on the ballot – and find it heading us down the wrong road. Of Course, the spending forces will cry ‘It’s for the CHIIIILDREN!’ and bemoan all the programs that will just HAVE to be cut without it (Funny, it’s always the programs with the largest and most active parent base that seem to always be first on the chopping block, not administrative functions. ‘Fireman first’ politics is what it is called in city government.)
The citizens of Plano will have to make of it what they will. But they have to realize- the bonded indebtedness at the local levels has brought overall government debt in Texas up to the level of California in the 90s; and is following the same curve to crash that is currently resulting in municipal bankruptcies in California. It’s all a matter of time- or the taxpayers finally starting to say “No!” to the tax and spenders. Here is an EXCELLENT accumulation of just how serious this debt issue is- not only for Plano, but MANY DFW entities.
UPDATE: JUST got the following letter for a concerned parent. The source can be trusted but wants to be anonymous to protect the kids from possible blowback:
“For the schools” is the likely response that you will receive if you ask the typical Plano family why they moved here. That is exactly the reason that we moved our family here to Plano. We wanted to raise our children in the premier school district in the area. Now, after many years in Plano ISD, we want Plano to remain that premier school district, especially with other local districts like Frisco starting to outperform us in some areas. Not only do our teachers in our district do very well educating our children in the core subjects, they teach many dozens of programs, such as PACE and fine arts, that help distinguish us from the rest of the surrounding districts. You can imagine our grave concern when we heard the programs that help separate us from the pack, the same ones we moved our family here for, were threatened to be cut. This seems like the wrong approach and it scares me that our school district leadership would risk sending us down this path.
I wanted to pass along some thoughts on some facts that I have recently learned.
- Last year, Plano ISD received more total tax revenue per student than any year in its history except one.
- Plano ISD’s Fund Balance has rapidly gown to $150 Million from $127 Million a few years ago when our district leadership let go of over 230 of our teachers.
- The Fund Balance has INCREASED over $36 Million since 2007.
- In the year the district leadership laid off over 230 of our teachers:
- The net assets of the District increased by $33.7 million” (which meant it operated at a SURPLUSS) and
- $147,394,102is unassigned in the General Operating Fund and is available for spending at the District’s discretion.” according to their annual report.
- Over the last 3 years since over 230 of our teachers were laid off by Plano ISD administration:
- The average base salary of the ADMINISTRATION has INCREASED by MORE THAN $4,300.
- The average base salary of TEACHERS has DECREASED by almost $900.
- The headcount of ADMINISTRATION has INCREASED by 5.
- The headcount of TEACHERS and EDUCATIONAL AIDES has DECREASED by 171.
- Plano ISD has operated at a SURPLUS more often than a deficit in recent history.
- Our district will not see $10 Million of the $40 Million being raised to cover next year’s $20 Million deficit because it will be sent to other districts.
- Our district will raise an additional $10 Million next year, and each year after, that will be added to the growing fund balance.
- Robin Hood payments have DECREASED by nearly $95 Million per year since 2007,
- and to repeat the first point,
- Last year, Plano ISD received the second HIGHEST TOTAL REVENUE in its history.
Our biggest concern as parents and citizens of Plano is that our leadership in the school district would threaten to take away the very programs that elevate us above the rest of the local districts. What should we think about our district leaders if they are not able to thrive in an environment where they are able to grow available cash by $10’s of millions while receiving record levels of Total Tax Revenue? Why are we being intimidated with threats of teacher lay-offs again? We are very concerned with the decisions being made by the school district leadership,supposedly on our behalf, and are let down by the unnecessary scare tactics being used by the school district leadership. What decisions can we expect to be made if times get really difficult?
A mother that expects better