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FBISD Board Sets Priorities for Funds Generated if Tax Rate Election is Successful

(FORT BEND ISD) - The Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees held a special meeting Monday to set budgetary priorities for funds generated if the tax rate election in November is successful.

The Nov. 7 election, known as a Voter Approval Tax Rate Election or V-A-T-R-E, will provide $35 million for the district to afford competitive wages for FBISD teachers. By law, funds provided by the district’s successful bond election in May cannot be used to pay teachers or other staff salaries, such as bus drivers, librarians, nurses and counselors. Priorities set by the board to improve pay for all staff in the district are:

  • $2,500 teacher raises and a differentiated teacher step scale to reward and retain teachers with raises as high as $7,000 for teachers with 25 years of experience or more

  • increase police officer pay by $5,742 to compete with other agencies

  • $2,500 raises for librarians, nurses and counselors

  • increase bus driver and teacher aide pay by $1.50 an hour

  • increase auxiliary staff and non-classroom paraprofessionals’ pay by $1 an hour

  • 3% midpoint pay increases for principals, district directors and business professionals

  • add armed, uniformed security at all elementary schools to fulfill a statewide legislative mandate signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott

The V-A-T-R-E asks voters to approve adding four cents to the district's maintenance and operations tax or M&O, which is used to pay for day-to-day general expenses like teacher salaries, benefits, supplies and utilities.

The new FBISD tax rate would be 98.92 cents – 71.92 cents for the M&O fund and 27 cents for the Interest and Sinking fund, which pays back the district’s debt -similar to a person’s home mortgage or auto loan. The 98.92 cent rate is expected to remain one of the lowest tax rates in the region and is a historic low for Fort Bend ISD. An approved V-A-T-R-E would have a $0 impact on property taxes for those with over 65 or disability exemptions unless they have made new improvements to their residence such as an addition or pool. For those with no exemption the higher tax rate would cost $108 annually, or $9 per month. FBISD has made over $40 million in budget cuts in the last two years to eliminate its previous budget deficit, but the cuts have not provided enough money to increase teacher salaries. Any registered voter aged 18 or older living within Fort Bend ISD is eligible to vote in the V-A-T-R-E election. The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday October 10th. Early voting is from Oct. 23 - Nov. 3. Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 7.


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