• Concern: State-mandated school start date
    Desired Remedy:
    • Provide districts local control over start date
    PISD’s Story: PISD has very little flexibility to develop a calendar that best meets the instructional needs of its students. Local control over the school start date would provide PISD the ability to adjust holidays, staff development days and days in each semester to ensure the best calendar for students. The district receives feedback each year that indicates district stakeholders desire school to conclude before Memorial Day. PISD competes with charter schools that enjoy greater flexibility regarding school start date.
    Concern: 50-Cent Test
    Desired Remedy:
    • Remove the cap and give local voters control
    PISD’s Story: The 50-Cent Test hurts PISD by forcing it to choose between either being fiscally conservative or providing the instructional facilities its community supports. PISD is widely recognized for its outstanding financial management and has only issued two bonds that were financed for more than 20 years. However, given the district’s continued fast growth and the fact that taxable property values have not increased over the last three years, it is likely that the district’s future bonds will have to be financed over 25 to 30 years. Borrowing for this longer period of time will significantly increase interest cost that could be avoided via a higher tax rate and would allow the district to repay its debt over a shorter period of time. By capping the debt service tax rate at fifty cents, the state imposes artificial limits on how districts can best meet capital improvement needs, even if voters would approve higher tax rates.