I recently attended the TASA Summer Conference in Austin. While there, I had the opportunity to hear several different speakers discuss the current financial situation and the future financial situation of the state. Most of the discussion centered on education funding. Below is a summary list of the most important points made at the conference:
- It is estimated that when the legislature convenes again in 2013, they will be facing an $11 billion deficit from the current biennium. That does not include any deficit from reduced state revenues.
- The current state budget provides $2 billion less in the Foundation School Program in each year of the biennium.
- The decline in funding will be reflected in adjustments to target revenue, to school finance formulas, and proration.
- During the first year, school districts will see a reduction in weighted average daily attendance (WADA).
- During the second year, there will also be an adjustment to target revenues.
- The business franchise tax is producing between $4 and $6 billion less than projected. If this does not change, the revenue problem in Texas will not go away.
- The 12-13 cuts will be much larger than the 11-12 cuts.
- There is concern that if proration is necessary in the second year of the current biennium, that there will not be enough funds available in the next biennium to make up for the proration.
- There is no indication that the next biennium is going to be any better.
The first funding template for the 11-12 and 12-13 school years has been released. These templates allow local school districts to plug in their projected numbers and estimate the amount of state revenue that these numbers will produce. Using our average numbers from the 10-11 school year and estimates on tax revenue, the template is projecting that EISD will lose about $588,000 in funding for the 11-12 school year and EISD will lose about $770,000 in funding for the 12-13 school year. Over the next few days, we will look at the impact that this reduction in state funding will have on our budget. As always, if you have any questions regarding anything about school finance, please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com.