HSV Taxpayers Subsidize FLSD Choice Students
Ms. [name redacted], an ardent Cobra booster, recently wrote about Fountain Lake School District “…it does not erase the fact that the school buildings that are currently there do not support the student increase in population that has been seen in the past couple of years.”
That statement sent me into the archives to see how many students FLSD has reported to the AR Dept. of Education over the past 9 years. Here are the numbers:
Fountain Lake School District Total Student Population & Number of Choice Students from 2013 to 2022
Did FLSD recruit “choice students” in 2019-‘20 and ‘21 to make it appear the district’s school population was growing rapidly, when it was actually shrinking? Superintendent Murphy used that argument to support the need for a millage increase in 2019 and again now. Student growth over the past 9 years has been a whopping 2.9% annually. Spin that!
It’s true that all property (personal, real estate, and utilities) in both Saline and Garland counties has been reappraised, mostly upward. Every time a house sells, the county involved adjusts its valuation to the selling price. Not all new residents will qualify for a freeze on their tax bills, so both FLSD and Jessieville will get their fair share. These two increasing revenue streams will flow to our schools for many years.
*“Choice Students” are pupils whose parents live and pay taxes in another school district–not FLSD–who have asked to transfer into our district. (We recognize that a small portion of these students has a parent working at the school.) The “School Choice” law dictates that each pupil’s state aid money stays with the losing district, while the receiving district must use its own money to equalize spending for all its
pupils. FLSD taxpayers must subsidize each “choice student” annually. Historically FLSD has gotten only a pittance in state aid because the Department of Education considers ours a wealthy district.
Vote NO! to FLSD Proposed Millage Increase/higher taxes on February 8!
Patty MacDonald, January 12, 2022
Questions? Please email NoFLSDmillageincrease@mail.com
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