Board of Trustees votes to put TRE and bond on November ballot

Kennedy Williams

Kennedy Williams, WTV Staff Reporter

Frisco ISD held a public school board meeting Monday to discuss proposed changes in their property tax rates, and ultimately approved a tax swap.

This move triggers a Tax Ratification Election or TRE, which would raise taxpayers’ rates by thirteen cents for maintenance and operation of existing FISD facilities.

However, the board has proposed a fifteen cent decrease in tax rates for renovations and the building of new facilities, also known as a bond election. This turn around would ultimately have homeowners seeing a two cent decrease for taxpayers from a rate of a dollar forty six cents per hundred dollar to a rate of a dollar forty four cents per hundred dollars.

A number of Frisco citizens, teachers, and students addressed their concerns regarding the tax swap.

Community member Tom Fabry explains that the city of Frisco needs to stop stereotyping those who oppose these tax ratifications as “heartless” or “not interested in the well being of the students”. Thinks priorities are not being set straight by the city.

“My wife and I have been involved in city and school finances issues for a number of years and one of the things we’ve consistently identified is that it’s very difficult to oppose or have a disagreement about school finance with the board without being labeled anti-kids or anti-school or anti-public schools,” Farby said. “You can oppose a financial issue or a policy issue without hating kids and schools. It’s a false narrative for anybody in the city to use the phrase ‘you hate kids’ because you disagree. We need to get beyond that narrative because it’s flat out not true.”

Those against the philosophy of citizens like Fabry argue that the personalized needs of Frisco’s teachers and students need to be recognized and addressed.

Fowler Middle School teacher Reyna Arndorfer calls on those who oppose the swap bond to try to imagine the mental and physical stress teachers are facing because current classroom sizes are too big to supplement the small school philosophy.

“I wanted to bring up the point that the difference between 25 and class of 30 has to do with logistics and time management and discipline,”Reyna said. “We all know because you guys have been in classes of 30 and more but it’s really hard to get the individual attention you need from the teachers and technology doesn’t always work in sets of 30. Class sizes from 20 to 25 really works much better for you guys. I would like them to come into the schools and come into our classrooms and see what it’s all about. It’s kind of hard to see on the outside, looking in.”

No official changes have been enacted yet. The board’s decision only means that citizens will now have the option to vote for or against these proposals on November 6.

The tax swap money would fund millions of dollars towards building smaller classes, more feasible teacher compensation, among other things. The bond proposition would go towards the development of new facilities and renovations, including a district-wide fine arts facility and new playground surfaces for elementary schools.