State funding source shrinks: Decatur, Boyd, Slidell receive small payments

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, December 5, 2018
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Two years after receiving $6.3 million in additional state aid for tax reduction (ASATR), Decatur ISD received just $89,902 this year in the form of a hardship grant.

Boyd and Slidell were the only two Wise County districts to receive a payment as the state continues to weed out the funding program ASATR put in place in 2006 when property taxes were cut by one-third.

With ASATR, the state guaranteed to keep funding levels per student the same as districts received in 2005-06. The funding of ASATR was pulled in 2017 with the legislature establishing a $100 million hardship grant program for 2017-18 and $50 million for 2018-19.

Decatur received $762,000 last year – the first year of the program – and slightly more than $89,000 this year.

“We’ve prepared for it,” said Decatur ISD Superintendent Judi Whitis about the loss of the additional state revenue. “The increase in student enrollment and values help offset it.”

Boyd ISD received $9,699 this year. The district had a payment of $254,000 last year. In the final year of ASATR, the district was paid $3.23 million.

“With the increase in enrollment and the increase in values, it’s not had the negative impact that it would have,” said Boyd ISD Superintendent Ted West. “But it is $240,000 less than we received last year. We’ve been able to weather it better than some districts because of the increase in values and enrollment.”

Slidell ISD received a hardship grant of $82,704 for a rapid decline in taxable value of property.

Northwest ISD received $6.859 million last year as a hardship grant and nothing this year. In the final year of ASATR, the district had a payment of $10.798 million.

Alvord, Bridgeport, Chico and Paradise schools did not receive grants.

Chico ISD had received approximately $150,000 last year. Superintendent Don Elsom calculated the district would have received $276,478 this year under ASATR.

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