From the Office of State Senator Dan Patrick

For Immediate Release
July 6, 2009

Contact: Logan Spence (512) 463-0107 or (512) 461-3448

Announces increased funding from the state for Cy-Fair ISD homeowners

HOUSTON - Senator Dan Patrick is proud to announce that the State of Texas will allocate additional funds to Cy-Fair Independent School District in order to preserve the local homestead exemption.

Today, Texas Education Agency notified Cy-Fair ISD that they will receive an additional $6.2 million dollars in surplus school funds for the coming year. This amount represents the employment of more than 100 teachers that could have otherwise received pink slips.

Since the close of the 81st Legislative Session, Senator Patrick has worked diligently to resolve a school funding problem that was not addressed with legislation. Once the leadership of Cy-Fair ISD were able to define the scope of their funding problem, Senator Patrick sought help from Governor Perry and his administration.

"Governor Perry has understood the urgency of this situation from day one," said Senator Patrick.. "He and his administration continue to work closely with me to ensure that Cy-Fair ISD is not forced to raise property taxes as a result of a school finance inequity." For only the second time in recent memory, that state has released surplus school funds to help retain local homestead exemptions.

"The Education Code permits three options to use this surplus of funds. The best option to benefit the largest number of districts would be to recognize the Local Option Homestead Exemption. We estimate this will provide CFISD with approximately $6 million in additional funds for the 2008-2009 school year," said Commissioner Robert P. Scott.

"Senator Patrick has gone above and beyond my expectations of state legislators to help Cy-Fair ISD limit the impact of our school finance problem," stated Cy-Fair Superintendent Dr. David Anthony. "Without his persistent advocacy on our behalf, Cy-Fair ISD and our constituents would have faced a significant financial crisis."

"Raising taxes, taking away the local home exemption, or cutting 500 jobs in this economy are all unacceptable options" said Patrick. "The fundamental problem here is that Texas is not funding schools appropriately and this short-term solution is only the beginning of my efforts to make sense of this perplexity."

Senator Patrick will continue working with Commissioner Scott and Governor Perry to give Cy-Fair ISD more flexibility to address their unique funding problem.