So a rich, white neighborhood wants to detach from the school district it is currently assigned to a neighboring, “better performing” district.
The assessed value of the relatively small subdivision — $92.5 million, about 1 percent of the district’s tax base — was too much for the district to lose, especially considering that only seven students from Northgate are currently enrolled in Spring schools, according to the district.
I’ll go into the performance issues later but for the moment I would like to point out what might be a first in media reporting of families not sending their children to public school. The parents aren’t accused of “costing” their schools funding. In fact, it’s almost presented as an advantage, the school is receiving taxes but only having to educate seven students.
What’s the big deal? Whenever homeschoolers or others pull their kids from the local schools, the schools report how their losing money for each student withdrawn. They’re loosing the state portion of the money which theoretically would have to be used to educate the student if the student attended. The state funding is also the increasing smaller portion of funding per student. They are still getting the local tax property portion of the funding.
Granted, the schools may not be getting the parental support it might have if the children were still in public school which can have significant impact beyond PTA volunteers.
Matthews, a 63-year-old businessman whose youngest child graduated from Spring ISD about 15 years ago, also led the effort in 2005 that defeated Spring’s $385 million bond referendum.
“The district’s fast rate of growth combined with unsuccessful bond elections in both 1996 and 2005 has put us behind the eight ball. It has been necessary to accelerate our building of schools in order to catch up to the needs of a growing student population. The district currently uses 142 portable buildings to manage fast growth on a temporary basis at a cost of over $81,000 per building,” Draper said.
But in general, the withdrawal of a student to homeschool actually frees up around $3,000 for the school to use to purposes other than educating that homeschool student. Surely, $3,000 would cover any loss of PTA support. As for affecting the general tax base, how many homeschoolers to you think live in NorthgateForest?
Located between Interstate 45 and Texas 249, Northgate Forest is part of a diverse and rapidly growing collection of towns, communities and businesses that comprise northwest Harris County. The affluent area, which also includes the notable Champions and Cy-Fair communities ranked 50th in the top 100 highest-income urban areas in the United States.