“Chapter 41 recapture” is a mechanism in state school funding formulas that ensures that a district’s property wealth per student does not exceed certain levels, known as equalized wealth levels. A school district that is subject to recapture is often referred to as a “Chapter 41 district” because the provisions governing recapture are found in the Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 41.
A district, with high wealth per student, has five options available to reduce its wealth. The district may choose: Option 1—consolidate with another district; Option 2—detach property; Option 3—purchase attendance credits from the state; Option 4—contract to educate nonresident students from a partner district; or Option 5—consolidate tax bases with another district.
A district may exercise these options singly or in combination. Most Chapter 41 districts across the state choose Option 3 or Option 4, or a combination of these options. Both of these options must be approved in an election by local taxpayers. Even though this is not the first year that Nordheim ISD has been designated as Chapter 41 and has sent recapture payments to the state, it is the first year that voter-approval of the Chapter 41 option has been required.
The Board of Trustees is proposing Option 3, the best-suited option for the district, which will require Nordheim ISD to reduce its wealth by sending a portion of its local tax revenue to the state. These funds will be used to help finance Foundation School Payments (FSP) that are made to property-poor school districts. This is sometimes referred to as the “Robin Hood Law.”
The general election will be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2011, and Nordheim residents are encouraged to vote at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 313 Chaparral Street in Nordheim between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Early voting is available at the DeWitt County Annex, 115 North Gonzales in Cuero between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Oct. 24 through Nov. 4, 2011.