Voters reject TRE

The Frisco ISD Board of Trustees will host a public board meeting to receive feedback from community members regarding zoning modifications for the 2017-2018 school year.

The Frisco ISD Board of Trustees will host a public board meeting to receive feedback from community members regarding zoning modifications for the 2017-2018 school year.

By a 58 to 42 percent margin, Frisco ISD voters rejected a tax rate increase in Saturday’s Tax Ratification Election. With an expected budget shortfall for next year due to a cut in state funding, the election was designed to provide funds for the district starting with the 2017-18 school year, but Saturday’s vote has the district going back to the drawing board.

District residents have spoken loud and clear, demanding greater financial accountability from FISD leadership”

— Frisco United campaign member Joe Widner

“Things will look different, but our students of FISD are depending on us and we will not let them down,” Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Lyon wrote in an email sent to teachers and staff. “We will not look back on this as a time of loss but a time when we came together. We will move forward together starting today. We will roll up our sleeves and work to protect student programs and opportunities with reduced funding.”

 Saturday’s results are a win for the two most vocal opponents to the TRE: Frisco United and Vote No Frisco.

“District residents have spoken loud and clear, demanding greater financial accountability from FISD leadership,” Frisco United campaign member Joe Widner said in a statement. “We now urge the FISD Board of Trustees and district administration to be purposeful and transparent as they rework the budget. We are confident that published budget contingencies and reserve funds guarantee that no negative impact should come from maintaining our existing tax rate.”

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The failure of the TRE will likely lead to cuts in 2017-18, but on campus, things should remain the same this year.

“Impacts this year for students at Liberty will be minimal,” Principal Scott Warstler said. “The budget for this year has already been set. The shortfall because of the TRE not passing that would be felt this year will actually be made up for with reserve funds from the district. Moving forward definitely there will be some impacts, what that is we don’t know yet, but I know administrators and board members will spend the next months to repair the budget and absorb that $30 million shortfall.”

FISD is special because of everyone here and that doesn’t change because of an election.”

— Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Lyon

For many teachers on campus, TRE results didn’t go the way they had hoped.

“It surprised me at how big the gap was between the against and the for,” social studies teacher Gary Mumford said. “I don’t like the results. I think it means bigger class sizes, more work for teachers, less of an education for students.”

Although the district will have to reevaluate its budget moving forward, Dr. Lyon expressed his sentiments in his message to staff.

“People move here and stay here, many at great sacrifices, to have their children with you each day,” Dr. Lyon wrote. “FISD is special because of everyone here and that doesn’t change because of an election. We are proud to serve the students of FISD with all of you. The significance of what goes on in your classrooms and in your cafeterias, on your buses and in your cubicles, rises above all the rhetoric and transcends politics.”