Texas school districts are showing kids that it is okay to lie and cheat so that you may get your way. This valuable life lesson comes courtesy of school districts efforts to convince voters to raise their taxes, as reported in todayâ€™s Dallas Morning News.
At least 10 percent of the school districts in the state are seeking to undo the tax-rate reduction bought (yes, bought) by the Legislature through the new business tax. But their campaigns donâ€™t pass the truth test.
For example, Prosper Independent School District is telling voters that by approving a ballot proposal, taxes would go down 13 cents. In truth, the tax rate marks an increase of 13 cents. How are they getting away with it? The rate is 13-cents lower than what it was, but also 13-cents higher than Legislature-bought tax rate that would go into effect by law.
Property appraisal creep has meant that the lower tax rate helped push Texansâ€™ actual property tax bills higher than ever. The lack of appraisal reform was bad enough. Now school districts, along with increases from counties, cities and other taxing unit, are actively pushing for rate increases that will compound the problem.
Of course, it could also be that our public school administrators just donâ€™t know the difference between a 13-cent decrease and a 13-cent increase. Which would explain why our students are donâ€™t so well in mathâ€¦