For Fourth Consecutive Year, HCDE Trustees Approve Budget Based on Proposed Tax Rate Below Effective Rate

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July 23, 2018 by HCDE-Texas

In collaboration with administration to keep property taxes low for taxpayers, Harris County Department of Education trustees on Tuesday approved a $117 million total budget that will reduce the tax rate to $.005167, down from $.005195.

The 2018-2019 budget supports HCDE’s core services such as school-based therapy, special schools, after-school programming, Head Start, and adult education. This year’s budget proposes to hold the tax rate below the effective tax rate for the fourth consecutive year. The tax rate is officially adopted in September.

Property tax revenue, which amounts to less than $9 for the average homeowner annually, generates $23.2 million of the overall budget, based on a projection of total values at $450 billion during the upcoming fiscal year. The rest of the budget is funded by grants, fees, and other revenue.

Several of HCDE’s core services support students from 25 Harris County school districts. HCDE school-based therapists provide 100 percent of therapy services to special needs students in eight area school districts, including Cy-Fair ISD, Houston ISD, Katy ISD, Spring Branch ISD, and Spring ISD. Fees to school districts have not increased for four consecutive years and remain below the industry average, made possible by the property tax allocation. In all, more than 7,700 special education students are served on 550 campuses throughout Harris County.

Additionally, HCDE operates four schools designed for students with severe emotional disturbances and impairments, and adjudicated youth who need intensive counseling. One-hundred percent of Harris County school districts pursue HCDE contracts.

About Harris County Department of Education: HCDE provides special education, therapy services, early education, adult education and after-school programming. Services are funded by government grants, fees and a local property tax rate of $.0052. For every dollar in local property tax collected, HCDE provides $4.40 in services to the 25 Harris County school districts. HCDE also operates four campuses for students with profound special education needs and adjudicated youth who require a low student-teacher ratio and highly structured environment. One-hundred percent of students served on HCDE campuses are at-risk. The organization is governed by an elected board of seven trustees and has 1,060 employees and 33 facilities, including 15 Head Start centers. More info at www.hcde-texas.org .

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