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purposes and they further recommend that the amount each district is assigned to raise through local property taxes be based upon the ratio of the market value of taxable property in that district to the total market value of taxable property in the state. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SCHOOL FINANCE Just as you would expect the TSTA program to be on the lookout for teachers’ interests, so you can expect the State Board of Education to come up with a statewide centralization plan. And that’s just what they did. This little gem involves a six-year phase-in schedule that will bring us to an expenditure of about $2 billion by 1979. Under this plan, local districts will continue to be reponsible for capital and construction costs. That means that a district like Crystal City, for example, which barely has enough marketable wealth to count, will get no help for the 80 percent of its kids who go to school in substandard buildings. Fifty percent of the kids go to school in clapboard buildings built during World War II as a concentration camp for Japanese. There are 400 Crystal City kids in a building built in 1911. The committee calls its program the Comprehensive School Foundation Program, but it’s barely a cut above the MFP. The committee’s plan would phase out dependence on the local property tax, except, of course, for construction costs and a little local enrichment. The committee does NOT recommend the use of market value to measure the tax-paying ability of local districts; we quote its rationale in full. “The most common alternative suggested [to the present system] is the use of the market value of taxable property to measure the local ability of the district. Although many other states use this form of ability indicator, all of these states have a state agency charged with the responsibility of collecting and verifying the proper valuations of property; Texas has no such agency. Most of these states have one tax roll per county; Texas has almost 1,000 school tax rolls in its 254 counties. Most of these states have a workable definition of `taxable property’; Texas, in effect, has no definition. Most of these states have a documentary stamp tax or some other method of recording the sales of property; Texas has no such instrument. In sum, Texas is unprepared to use the market value of taxable property as an indicator of local ability. All past attempts to create an adequate information base have failed. Even if adequate machinery to determine property valuations were to be established by the next Legislature, it would take several years to gather reliable and accurate information for every school district.” That old better-late-than-never spirit is in short supply on the Public School Finance Committee. Nor do they offer any suggestions as to how the state is to replace the $1 billion the schools will lose in local property taxes. Aside from that, the committee’s report contains the requisite number of noble sentiments and “enrichments” of the MFP substandards. A TSTA spokesman, however, said the report set “unacceptably low levels and standards” for education. TEXAS RESEARCH . LEAGUE Now the League does not make recommendations, you understand. They lay out alternatives and estimate their cost and impact. They also do not evaluate educational program components. At least that is what the League’s research director Glenn Ivy said. In a rough translation, that means that the League will tell you how much the program will cost but it won’t tell you whether the program is worth a damn. One thing they will tell you is that the present program isn’t worth a damn. They will tell you that at length and give you lots and lots of figures to prove it. Now we all know that the League doesn’t recommend anything, but the silly old Dallas Morning News, which doesn’t listen to Mr. Ivy, ran a story on Nov. 18 saying that the League was recommending a whole bunch of stuff. To wit, that the League was recommending a 1953 proposal made by the very same. League. And 18 years ago the League did recommend that “the gap between the rich and poor of the Foundation Program to include most of the programs and services provided in the more affluent districts and the program by those same more affluent districts.” This one could be called the New, Improved Minimum Foundation Program. TEXAS STATE COMMITTEE, U.S. COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Twelve recommendations, sweet and simple, and a’ minimum of either flowery rhetoric or bureaucratic jargon. Also a minimum of facts and figures. The recommendations. One: property be assessed at full market value. Two: a documentary stamp tax be enacted. Three: a state tax agency be established to, in brief, meet every objection offered by the State Board of Education Committee in the above report. Four: state assumes the revenue raising function; county assessors to act as agents of the state. Five: a personal income tax. Six: a corporate profits tax. Seven: no sales tax increase. Eight: raise level of per pupil expenditure to level of five top states in the nation. Nine: grant state aid on basis of a child’s educational need; state should conduct research to determine criteria of educational need most beneficial to students. Ten: take other necessary considerations, such as cost of living, into account in state grants to local districts. Eleven: salary incentives for bilingual teachers. Twelve: elect school board members from single member districts. And good luck to the Texas Committee of the Commission on Civil Rights. JOINT SENATE COMMITTEE TO STUDY TEXAS SCHOOL FINANCE Although the work of this committee, hereinafter referred to as the Mauzy Committee, in recognition of its esteemed chairman, is only half-jelled, it contains some interesting stuff. John Gay, a committee staff member who is with the consulting firm of Peat, Marwick, etc., which is doing the legwork for the committee, presented a sort of interim progress report to a school financing conference in San Antonio on Dec. 1. At this point, the Mauzy Committee’s staff, after a good deal of comparative study and some preliminary clinking around with computer models, has roughed out three alternative revenue plans \(how to get the Revenue I is: a 60/40 state-local sharing ratio; local funds from property tax based on market values; a statewide set maximum tax rate \(i.e., a limit on local enrichment, various devices to allow districts to tailor their own programs to some degree. Mauzy Revenue II is: no local district gets any state money unless it comes up with its full assigned share through the local tax and anything raised over the amount the district is entitled to goes into a state equalization fund. \(This is a variation of Mauzy Revenue III is simple enough: the state takes over the whole load, gathers all the money from a statewide property tax and dishes it out to the local districts on an even-steven basis. The four alternative distribution plans, now in embryo stage, include divvying up the money according to 1. a beefed up Foundation Program 2. according to staff needs 3. according to program needs 4. according to district size. TEXANS FOR EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE T.E.E. doesn’t have any program at all, just yet, but they have a lot of ideas. T.E.E. is some folks like Dr. Jose Cardenas, superintendent of the Edgewood district, Dr. Earl Lewis, director of the graduate studies program at Trinity University, Leonel Castillo, Houston comptroller, and others. T.E.E. is still looking for input, but, in brief, their program is to do research on fiscal reform in schooling, to help develop model legislation in the area, to provide opportunities for critical analysis of proposed programs and to do some public December 15, 1972 5