HPISD Joins School Finance Lawsuit

Georgia reported this in the dead-tree edition a few weeks back, but an email blast from Highland Park ISD confirms that it has officially joined a lawsuit against the state of Texas.

The district joins other revenue-distributing (read: Robin Hood) districts in the suit, which will argue that the state has placed an unfair burden on the districts, considering the shrinking financial support received from the state. By reducing funding to HPISD, the state has essentially removed the discretion afforded to districts, the suit argues, creating a “de facto state property tax system, which is unconstitutional.”

“The cookie-cutter approach doesn’t work, and our school board needs to have the local discretion to financially support those programs. But under the current funding system, the board has very little fiscal control,” HPISD Superintendent Dawson Orr said in the email.

To read the entire letter, head to the Highland Park ISD website.

6 thoughts on “HPISD Joins School Finance Lawsuit

  • November 15, 2011 at 3:20 pm
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    Shocking that a district as small as HP has given up $1 billion in Robin Hood. Enough is enough.

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  • November 16, 2011 at 10:15 am
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    My daughter has 33 kids in her 8th grade Science class and the teacher has not updated the class/homework web page since September. Our kids are suffering and will soon be lagging behind.

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  • January 13, 2012 at 9:56 am
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    Why not sue and withhold the payment to the State? What would the state do? Foreclose? No. Nothing is coming in to HPISD from the State. If all the districts withheld monies, we’d have a voice. We are penalized because our tax base is too high (meaning our home values are too high compared to the Tx average). Really? So, if as similar example, I decided to tear down my home and build a 20,000 square foot mansion, the state could say, your mansion is too nice…you need to give more of the tax dollars to S. Texas because you make too much money and your house is too nice. Wrong. Part of the reason I’d build a mansion is because the area is suitable for it and I get expected benefits for living here…roads, infastructure, schools, services, etc. Now, some S. Texas town gets to build a better school for its 35 students. I’d say that for any Robin Hood recepient in S. Texas that doesn’t need money (tiny towns with few residents), then just fold the school system and merge with the next town. If you want to live in that town, you kids will have to get used to the bus. You can always move to the cities or suburbs. I’ve seen a tiny town with a multi-million dollar football stadium and less than 100 graduating seniors each year. It was entirely funded with Robin Hood dollars.

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  • January 13, 2012 at 4:13 pm
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    My understanding is that if we don’t pay, they will fold us into the nearest district, in our case DISD. They get you either way…

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  • January 15, 2012 at 4:28 pm
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    B–that doesn’t sound plausible. If you read the Texas Education Code, for district borders to change, you have to have a majority of registered voters in BOTH districts support the change, along with the both boards of trustees. Not sure how withholding taxes could result in overriding that. My guess is that they would assess deep fines for every day that a district withholds the payments.

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