The TRE Passed image
A TRE is a special election to approve an increase in a district’s Maintenance and Operations (M&O) tax rate above $1.04. The school board has the authority to levy an M&O tax rate up to $1.04 but any increase above that amount requires voter approval. On June 13, the Board adopted an M&O tax rate of  $1.13, an increase of 9 cents, and lowered the I&S rate by 7 cents for an overall tax rate increase of 2 cents. Since the M&O amount is greater than $1.04 voter approval is required.

The District’s tax rate is composed of two parts:
Maintenance and Operations (M&O) tax rate and the Interest and Sinking (I&S) tax rate.

The M&O fund pays for day to day district operations such as payroll, utilities, and maintenance of schools and facilities. The I&S fund is used to make payments on district bonds much like the principal and interest on a home mortgage.

Currently, the District’s tax rate is $1.367 ($1.04 for M&O and $.327 for I&S). The board adopted a tax rate of $1.387 ($1.13 for M&O and $.257 for I&S) for 2016.

This tax rate increase will be used to balance the budget, which includes a $1500 salary increase for teachers.

2 Cents Overall

The Board reduced the debt service tax rate by 7 cents and increased the operations tax rate by 9 cents for an overall increase of 2 cents.
The adopted tax rate is $1.387 ($1.13 for M&O and $.257 for I&S).

If your taxes are currently frozen due to an Over 65 or Disabled Persons exemption, then your taxes will not be affected by a tax rate increase.
TRE Calculator

Voter approval is required to increase the M&O tax rate above a $1.04. The board adopted $1.13, a 9 cent increase above last year’s M&O rate. At the same time, the board lowered the debt service tax rate by 7 cents; therefore, the total tax rate increase will be 2 cents.

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1. Increase teacher salaries
2. Balance the budget

2015-16 Surrounding Districts Salaries.xlsx

2015-16 Surrounding Districts Salaries.xlsx

No. Many districts tax above $1.04 in order to meet the educational needs of their students. FISD has not increased its M&O tax rate since 2002 (14 years ago). As local revenue increases from higher appraisals, state funding decreases. The only increase to funding is through increased student enrollment/attendance, increased tax rates, or changes in state funding.
No. Not all districts are alike and the formula funding system is not entirely equitable. Recently, the state Supreme Court ruled that the funding system is constitutional but broken. If Friendswood received the same amount of funding per pupil as surrounding districts, the financial position would be significantly better. See the comparison chart below.

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No. Increased revenue the District collects from higher values essentially accrues to the state. In other words, if the District collects more in local taxes due to increased values, then the state contributes less to the District.

The only permanent increases in funding result from increases in student enrollment/attendance, higher tax rates or state formula changes.
FISD has the lowest funding per student in all of Region 4 which is comprised of more than 50 districts.

Region 4 Revenue Per Student

Region Revenue Per Student - Object Revenue Level 1

Yes. In 2014, Superintendent Trish Hanks surveyed parents asking what they valued most in Friendswood ISD. The number one answer was safety followed closely by recruiting and retaining quality teachers. As a result, in FY 2014-15 a study was completed of FISD teacher salaries in comparison to surrounding districts.

Superintendent Hanks recommended a restructured teacher salary schedule with an average 5.32% increase in 2015-16 and a $1500 increase for 2016-17 to make FISD teachers’ salaries more competitive.

• In March 2016, the District refinanced its bonds saving $16.7 million in interest.

• Overall reduction in campus and department budgets

• Frozen salaries or had minimal increases

• Reduced personnel positions when possible

• Utilized donations for technology upgrades

• Implemented an Energy Conservation Program which saved $2 million in energy costs

• Postponed major priority maintenance projects where possible

• Consolidated and eliminated bus routes

• Renting Facilities

• Sold advertising on the District’s website, buses, and scoreboard

• Strategically realigned employee responsibilities to improve services

• Charged fees for student participation in athletics and course fees

Hundreds of communities across the state have already completed the TRE process to meet the needs of students and schools. Galveston ISD and Texas City ISD have both had successful TREs in the last two years.
The district will be forced to withdraw $1.8 million from reserves to balance the budget in addition to cutting $690,000 from capital improvement or priority maintenance projects from the budget.

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