The election is being held because the property values within the Karnes City school district have increased significantly.
The district has now become subject to the provisions of Chapter 41 of the Texas Education Code.
Once a school district reaches a level of property wealth relative to student numbers to be considered property-rich, it must determine the method of sharing its wealth with other school districts.
These provisions are sometimes referred to as the “share the wealth” or “Robin Hood” plan.
Some of the methods a district selects for sharing the funds must be approved by the voters.
There are five options available:
Option 1: Consolidate with another school district – This option does not require voter approval
Option 2: Detach property – This option does not require voter approval. (This means to de-annex property to a nearby school district. Students in those areas would no longer be residents of KCISD.)
Option 3: Purchase attendance credits from the state – This option requires voter approval. (This means the district will pay money directly to the state to offset the costs for funding property-poor districts – these payments are referred to as “recapture.”)
Option 4: Contract to educate nonresident students from a partner district – this option requires voter approval. (The district agrees to send money directly to one or more other districts.)
Option 5: Consolidate tax bases with another district – This option requires voter approval.
Only options 3 and 4 of the above listed options are on the ballot. Voters will choose between one of these two options.
According to information provided from the school district, if voters choose “for” one or more of the options on the ballot, the school district will be authorized to equalize its wealth in the manner that it believes is best for the district. If the majority of voters chooses “against” on both options, the state will then choose ab option for the school district, either Option 1 or Option 2, resulting in consolidation with another district or loss of property to another district.