Press Release masthead



TEA News Releases Online Nov. 8, 2016

Commissioner Morath sends notification to Houston ISD

AUSTIN – Based on initial results in today’s Houston Independent School District (HISD) referendum on Proposition 1, Commissioner of Education Mike Morath has notified the HISD board of trustees of his order and notice of possible detachment of property from the Houston Independent School District and annexation to another school district(s). 

Election results for Proposition 1, which would have authorized the HISD board of trustees to purchase attendance credits from the state with local tax revenues, must still be certified.

According to state law, the Commissioner of Education is statutorily obligated to make this notification by Nov. 8. Text of the Commissioner’s notification letter to the Houston ISD can be read below. A PDF version (100KB) is available at http://www.tea.texas.gov/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=51539611701.

# # # 
 
Houston Independent School District Board of Trustees
Superintendent Richard Carranza
4400 West 18th Street
Houston, TX 77092-8501


Dear Houston Independent School District Board of Trustees and Superintendent Carranza:

As required by state law, school districts whose wealth level per weighted average student exceeds certain statutorily defined amounts are required to take a wealth equalization action. The most commonly used action is to hold an election asking voters to agree to remit certain property tax revenues to the state. If the vote to remit fails, state law then requires that property in the school district be detached from the school district in amounts that will reduce wealth down to statutorily-determined levels. 
 
Should the November 8, 2016, election under Texas Education Code (TEC) § 41.096 fail to pass after all election results are certified, then in accordance with my statutorily required duties and obligations under TEC, Chapter 41 and 19 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 62, I am required to serve this order and notice of detachment of property from Houston Independent School District (HISD) and annexation to another school district(s). See TEC §§ 41.004 and 41.208(a). At this time, the portion of the taxable value of the property to be detached from HISD is estimated to be $18,248,312,720.  
 
Under current Texas law, the final election results will not be certified until after the November 8th statutory deadline for issuing this order of detachment under TEC § 41.208(a).  Therefore, it may be necessary to invoke authority under TEC § 41.006(b), to modify the time period for actions, including the date of my order for detachment, under TEC’s Chapter 41. Pursuant to this authority, if necessary, I will issue a supplemental order under TEC § 41.208(a) providing additional information regarding any required detachments of property from HISD. Any supplemental order will be provided as soon as is practicable in compliance with TEC § 41.208(b) and related provisions.

The TEA is committed to providing all taxpayers, property owners, and school and appraisal districts with accurate, transparent and timely information regarding these matters as quickly as possible and complying with statutory obligations under Texas law. Please contact Leo Lopez at (512) 463-9179 or Leo.Lopez@tea.texas.gov with any questions. 
 
Sincerely,
 
Mike Morath
Commissioner of Education

1The Texas Administrative Code § 62.1071 provides that, “December 1 is the deadline for reporting election results for a Chapter 41 district that held an election during fall 2016: The district must notify the State Funding Division of the option(s) selected by voters by sending a certified copy of the school board minutes showing a canvass of election results. The certified copy must be postmarked and mailed by this deadline. The commissioner will order detachment under Chapter 41, Subchapter G or annexation under Subchapter H, for a Chapter 41 district whose election did not pass as soon as practicable after this date, but by December 30, 2016. The commissioner will begin analyses of parcel data to determine the method by which the commissioner will achieve equalization.”  

 
CC: Mr. Roland Altinger, Chief Appraiser for Harris County