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Golden Penny Election

 

HPISD Trustees call for November election to address tax rate/staff compensation; regardless of election outcome, tax rate will drop to 5-year low

On Aug. 16, the Highland Park ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved calling for a voter-approval tax rate election that would increase teacher and staff compensation while still reducing HPISD property owners’ tax rates to a 5-year low. The election will be held Nov. 2, 2021.
 
HPISD’s Finance Committee, which is comprised of members of the community and three trustees, recommended that the election be held after studying the issue since early 2021. "This decision was made after a lot of thought and deliberation,” said Finance Committee Chair and School Board member Edward Herring. “Trustees have put forth what we consider to be a fiscally responsible approach to addressing District needs while maximizing local funding and local control.”
 
What is at the heart of the issue?
 
  • Currently, HPISD’s average teacher salary is 24th out of 25 comparison districts in North Texas and will likely fall further behind for the coming year.
  • Not only are teacher salaries near the bottom compared to nearby districts, so are the vast majority of all other staff positions in HPISD.
  • Feedback from recent job applicants indicates that compensation is the number one reason applicants decline job offers from HPISD, making it more difficult to fill vacancies. 59% of resignations following the 2020-21 school year cited compensation as a reason.
  • Results from a survey of district parents conducted in June 2021 reported attracting and retaining quality teachers as the district's second-most important issue. Preparing students for college and careers was #1.
  • The state’s school funding formula, which causes approximately 66 cents of every local property tax dollar to be recaptured by the state, has historically made it difficult to provide increases in compensation at the same pace as other North Texas school districts. Recent changes to the formula per House Bill 3 have made it even more difficult.
  • While HPISD’s tax rate in 2021-22 will be lower than it was in 2020-21, approval by voters is required to authorize HPISD to access 4 golden pennies as part of the district’s tax rate for the sole purpose of providing increases in staff compensation.

The Golden Penny election would generate revenue that would be used solely to address staff compensation. The following web pages have been created to provide information to the HPISD community.