Lancaster ISD VATRE Brings Employee Compensation Boost
November 8, 2023, LANCASTER, Texas--The Lancaster ISD VATRE (Voters Approve Tax Ratification Election) has passed, all thanks to the support from the Lancaster community. The passing of Proposition A is set to generate approximately $1,555,753.00 in local revenue each year, resulting in an annual $1,800 raise for all full-time Lancaster ISD employees.
The focus of the Lancaster ISD VATRE is clear – enhancing employee compensation, prioritizing employee recruitment and retention, and maintaining financial excellence. These funds will be generated through local tax collections, starting in December and extending through February. Lancaster ISD will provide full-time employees with a one-time $1800 payment with disbursement scheduled no earlier than March.
Superintendent of Schools, Dr. A. K Perera expressed her appreciation for the community's support, stating, "I applaud our community for putting educators first with their support of the Lancaster ISD VATRE. Their positive votes showcase a commitment to our district's educators and the students they inspire every day."
Beginning in the 2024-2025 school year, the $1,800 increase will become a part of every eligible employee's annual pay. Please note that this raise is only available to full-time Lancaster ISD employees.
Lancaster ISD extends a heartfelt “thank you” to the community for their support and to its employees for their dedication and contributions to Lancaster ISD.
The Lancaster ISD VATRE will prioritize Employee Compensation, Employee Recruitment and Retention, and maintaining Financial Excellence.
Employee Compensation: Due to a decrease in revenue, Lancaster ISD has yet to be able to increase the salaries of employees. Furthermore, inflation has risen to 14% since 2021, which has caused a significant strain on Lancaster ISD employees.
Educator Recruitment and Retention: Attracting and retaining talented teachers is essential for maintaining high educational standards. Additional funds will allow the district to continue offering educators competitive salaries.
Maintain Financial Excellence: Lancaster ISD’s enrollment has decreased since the pandemic, and local funding has decreased due to mandatory lowered tax rates. However, even through the hardships of the pandemic, Lancaster ISD has maintained financial stability. With the passing of the VATRE, Lancaster ISD will be able to increase employee salaries while remaining consistent in managing its financial resources.
GET VATRE THE FACTS!
Understanding the Tax Rate
School tax rates in Texas consist of two parts: the Maintenance & Operations (M&O) rate and the Interest and Sinking (I&S) rate.
Revenue from the M&O rate pays for the district’s daily operations, including salaries, utilities, and educational materials.
Revenue from the I&S rate pays the district’s debt that finances bonds, which fund large investments like construction projects.
Lancaster’s ISD’s total tax rate has declined by over 30 cents since 2018-19. On August 21, the Board of Trustees lowered the M&0 tax rate by 18.54 cents for a total tax rate of $1.1927 per $100 of property valuation. This is a total rate reduction of 18.54 cents from last year. The district is now seeking voter approval to increase the M&0 rate by 3.4 cents, which, if approved, will still result in a reduction of 15.14 cents over last year’s rate.
65+ Community Impact
Passage of the VATRE will not cause an increase in property taxes for Homeowners 65 and over or disabled who have applied for and received the Over 65 Homestead Exemption. Your tax bill will not exceed the frozen dollar amount.
VATRE Facts vs Fiction