NEWS HEADLINES

SISD calls Chapter 41 election

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, August 25, 2012

TIME FOR A TRIM – Volunteer Debbie Cross gives 8-year-old Waylon York a haircut at Thursday’s Back to School Night at Slidell ISD. In addition to haircuts, students and parents also received health, nutrition, eye and dental care information. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Slidell ISD voters go to the polls in December to give the district options on how to distribute excess wealth as a requirement for being a “wealthy” or Chapter 41 school.

Slidell trustees this week called the election for Dec. 1.

With voter approval, the board and district would be able to decide on two options – sending funds back to the state or directly to another school district.

Superintendent Greg Enis said the district was required to call the election after the district’s tax roll divided by its weighted average daily attendance surpassed $476,000. Slidell’s taxable values in 2011 were $231 million and the ADA was 395.

“Once you become a Chapter 41 district, you have to decide what to do with the excess money,” Enis said. “There’s really two palatable options – send it to Austin for them to distribute or send to another district.”

The other three options are consolidating with another district; detaching taxable property; or consolidating tax bases with another district.

Enis said most districts choose the two options they are considering.

Slidell has been a Chapter 41 district for several years due to its mineral rights and gas leases. The district’s tax roll has grown from $78 million in 2005 to $254 million for 2012-13.

Slidell wasn’t required to call the election until this year when they passed the state-set threshold of $476,000. To be a Chapter 41 district, like most in Wise County, the threshold is $319,500.

In other business, Slidell trustees will look to pass a tax rate of $1.125 Aug. 30. The maintenance and operations rate is $1.04. The debt service rate is 8.5 cents.

Enis said the district refinanced their outstanding bonds this year and received a lower rate, cutting the bond payment from $225,000 to $198,000.

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