By Kevin Jefferies
Commerce – The Commerce Independent School District Board of Trustees began budget talks last night, just one day after the State Legislature failed to reach a public school financing solution. The current "Robin Hood" system has been declared unconstitutional by the courts and was declared an emergency issue for the legislature. CISD Superintendent Keith Boles said he wasn't surprised the issue was not settled in the legislature's regular session.
BOLES: Well, I have to say I'm disappointed, but I'm not surprised. I think going into the session, their goals were to get rid of "Robin Hood"; however, at the same time increase school funding...at the same time they're doing that, they were going to lower property taxes as well. And that would definitly be a challenge for anyone.
The House and Senate disagreed on various issues, the largest of may have been who would bear the burden lowered property taxes would bring.
BOLES: It all came down to the taxes and how if the property taxes were going to be lowered, who was going to take the brunt of that impact. Was it going to be consumers through a sales tax, or was it going to businesses?
Boles said CISD has benefited from the current funding system, and there were components that should be kept. But the issue goes to the courts now in July, leaving many school districts still wondering where their funding will come from.