Skip to main content

Seen and Heard at the September 2023 School Board Meeting

Posted Date: 10/02/2023

Seen and Heard at the September 2023 School Board Meeting

September 11, 2023 — The September Board meeting began with a moment of silence in remembrance of the 22nd anniversary of September 11, 2001, followed by the Presentation of Colors by the Palo Duro High School Air Force JROTC and the National Anthem, performed by Amarillo High School’s New Sound Singers. 

The Board set the 2023 Amarillo ISD tax rate at $0.9258, which is the lowest tax rate in at least 17 years. The total estimated tax levy for Amarillo ISD, based on local property values, is $99,973,303. This represents the total revenue AISD can expect to receive from local taxpayers for the 2023-2024 school year. This year’s tax levy will result in an $18 million loss of local revenue for AISD, but the District anticipates that the loss will be offset by an increase in state revenue. The estimated tax levy takes into account the assumption that the constitutional amendment election in November to raise the homestead exemption amount from $40,000 to $100,000 will pass. Even though local appraisal values have gone up, most homeowners will see a drop in their Amarillo ISD taxes this year, due to the homestead exemption and state-mandated tax rate compression. In fact, the owner of a home valued at $219,301 (the average appraised value of homes in Amarillo) will pay $526 less in taxes than last year.

The Board also approved a resolution authorizing Amarillo ISD to join litigation challenging the lack of transparency in district and school accountability ratings for 2022-2023, scheduled to be released soon from the Texas Education Agency. The lawsuit alleges TEA is in violation of state law since it did not provide districts with information regarding changes in accountability rules and testing standards prior to the start of the 2022-2023 school year. Despite improvements in STAAR test scores from last spring, the retroactively applied changes to the accountability system will likely lower the ratings for AISD and many of its schools, as well as schools and districts across the state.  

The Board approved a staff development program focusing on classroom management and positive school culture, and they appointed members to several Board and District committees.

Finally, the Board expressed appreciation for gifts and donations totaling $51,544.80, given to various schools from Tradewind Community Church, Tascosa Excellence Council, The Prosser Family, June Grant, Telemundo, Libby Bunn, Palo Duro Cheer Booster Club, Storage Shop, Francisco and Melva Ornelas, Ridgecrest PTO, Puckett PTO, Bonham PTA, South Georgia Baptist Church, Storage Enterprise Group, and Super Walmart #3383.