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Burnet CISD voters approve method of ‘Robin Hood’ recapture payments

Burnet school district voters overwhelmingly approved making direct state-mandated recapture payments in a special election Tuesday, Oct. 12. The Burnet Consolidated Independent School District election, which was also state-mandated, allows BCISD to purchase attendance credits from the Texas Education Agency to pass on to a less wealthy district in the state. Voters approved the payment method 650-53.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees and administration, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our community for their support in the passage of the Burnet CISD Attendance Credit Election,” Superintendent Keith McBurnett stated in a media release.

Recapture is part of the state’s school finance system, commonly known as Robin Hood, that authorizes the TEA to direct funds from districts considered property wealthy to districts with less property values. BCISD anticipates making a $4 million recapture payment to the TEA this year. 

The election was a one-time vote authorizing the district to use the same method it has used in the past to make recapture payments. Had voters not approved the Oct. 12 ballot proposition, the TEA would have reduced BCISD’s property wealth by either assigning some of its commercial property to another school district or consolidating BCISD with one or more other school districts. 

The failure of the ballot proposition would not have ended the state’s recapture method of school finance. One hundred percent of the state’s school districts use the direct payment method.

“Although I do not agree with the current school finance system, this election was not a referendum on Robin Hood,” McBurnett said. “Rather, it was a forced choice on how to make all future recapture payments as well as the $4 million recapture payment this year.”

The election was required by a bill approved in the 2019 Texas Legislature. 

daniel@thepicayune.com

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