With all the increases in school funding, why did teachers at a North Texas school district launch an online campaign asking for supplies for their classrooms?

Texas Scorecard recently reported that two companies promoting a $315 million bond for the Keller school district bought classroom supplies for a number of teachers and staff members.

What’s interesting is how so many district employees were actively promoting their classroom wish lists on social media, using the hashtag #KISDClearTheLists.

This hashtag is a localized version of the nationwide #ClearTheLists campaign in which teachers ask for classroom supplies.

But why are teachers at Keller ISD having to resort to creating wish lists on Amazon for their classes at all? Does the school district not have enough money to buy these?

Here’s what we do know: According to the Tarrant Appraisal District, since 2013, the average homeowner’s property tax bill from the school district rose 38 percent.

The Texas Education Association says that from the 2013 school year to the 2017 school year, Keller ISD saw a 12 percent increase in per-student funding in federal, state, and local tax dollars. TEA also reports a 15 percent increase in funding per student from all funds the district collects, including federal, state, and local tax dollars.

Furthermore, per-student education spending in Texas increased dramatically this year with the passage of House Bill 3, an $11.5 billion omnibus school-funding package.

With all of these funding increases, why are Keller ISD teachers fundraising for anything? Where is all this influx of taxpayer money going if not to the classrooms?

If you’re a Keller ISD parent, property taxpayer, or both, you may want to contact members of the school board and ask.

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.