We need your valuable input now!
Texas lawmakers reformed school finance during the 86th legislative session. Under this reform package, a school district must first publicly disclose whether it is using its funds effectively and efficiently by conducting an efficiency audit before they raise your taxes.
School district efficiency audits are very different from regular financial audits. Efficiency audits can give voters clearer information and answers to questions they want to know about school district spending. For example, an efficiency audit can require a school district to disclose and justify:
- How much is being spent on lobbyists and lobby associations?
- How do your districts’ administrator salaries compare with state or regional averages?
- What are non-teaching staff salaries compared to the salaries for classroom teachers?
- Are school district funds being used on best practices that improve student learning?
For the first time ever, Texans have an opportunity to weigh in on how school districts do business. The guidelines for what school districts must disclose and what questions they answer prior to asking voters for more money at the ballot box are being decided at the Texas Capitol right now. We want to ensure the final guidelines reflect the ideas of local Texas taxpayers and voters.
That’s where you come in…
Our goal is to ensure school districts are using funds wisely prior to asking for more taxpayer money. Please make a suggestion for what you think school districts should disclose and what efficiency reforms they should consider. No suggestion is too big or too small.
Make your voice heard NOW and submit a comment below.
Submit Your Public Comment
Why do Texas taxpayers need school district efficiency audits?
School district maintenance and operation (M&O) taxes make up approximately 50 percent of most Texas’ property tax bill. Voters are often asked by their school districts to vote to increase their M&O property taxes. The problem is voters often do not have clear information about how their school districts are currently spending funds, if the school district is being efficient, and if a tax increase is even necessary.
To solve this voter transparency problem, the Texas Legislature recently passed House Bill 3. House Bill 3 requires that prior to increasing your M&O property taxes, a school district must first publicly disclose whether it is using its funds effectively and efficiently by conducting an efficiency audit.