An Urgent Message from Joseph Patek, Superintendent of ACISD

Dear Aransas County Independent School District ("ACISD") Community: 

Did the legislature make a decision on ASATR (Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction) funding?

No, the inaction of the Texas Legislature has pushed ACISD over the fiscal cliff, and we are  scheduled to lose almost $2 million in state money. Our funding went down the drain because the  Texas Senate and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick would not move forward with a school finance bill unless  it included a voucher proposal (vouchers would allow parents to use state money for private school  tuition). The Texas House had no interest in allowing state dollars to flow to private schools;  therefore, no school finance bill was passed.

How much money will ACISD lose on a per pupil basis?

A loss of $2 million will mean we have approximately $580 less to spend per student. 

How much is $2 million of the total district operating budget?

$2 million is 6% of our total budget. As you know, 66% of our budget is personnel (primarily teachers),  13% is Recapture Costs, and 21% is left to cover utilities, insurance, transportation, technology, and campus-controlled budgets. If our district were to cut costs to cover what the legislature has taken  away, it would require us to significantly reduce personnel, freeze salaries, and charge fees for many  student services/programs to be paid by parents. This would be in addition to personnel cuts already  made this spring in preparation for the 2017-18 budget. To put this in perspective, we would have
to eliminate almost 40 teachers to reach a savings of $2 million.

Is there anything we can do at this point?

Yes, our only avenue for the legislature to consider restoring ASATR funding lies in the hands  of Governor Greg Abbott. The Governor can call a special session and include ASATR in the  call for the special session. It is my understanding the Lt. Governor is interested in a special  session to consider vouchers. If there is a special session, the taxpayer communities of the  approximately 200 districts currently receiving ASATR funds must communicate to Governor  Abbott to affirm the importance of retaining the ASATR funding we have been receiving since  2006 when the legislature mandated compressed tax rates and promised to keep all districts whole through ASATR funds.

One of the many blessings we enjoy in ACISD is a community focused on and supportive of  education. If you have any direct or indirect connections to Gov. Abbott, please leverage  those connections to communicate the critical importance of continuing ASATR funding for  ACISD and the other ASATR districts in Texas.

How do I communicate with the Governor's Office?

The Governor will likely make a decision regarding a special session this week. Time is of the  essence. Please contact the Governor's office in writing regarding the importance of ASATR  for the ACISD, and ask that ASATR be included in a special session since the legislature was
unable or unwilling to resolve the ASATR issue during the regular session.

We are on a short timeline. You may contact the Governor in one of the following ways: 

Send a Message via Facebook: 

Online Contact Form for the Governor's Office: 

Fax: 512.463.1849 

As always, please feel free to contact me with questions or concerns.

Sincerely, 

Joseph Patek 

Superintendent of ACISD 
P O Box 907 
Rockport, Texas 78382 
361-790-2212 

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