Coryell County Tax Office staff unloaded five voting machines for the Copperas Cove Independent School District’s tax ratification election on Tuesday afternoon,
Justin Carothers, Coryell County tax assessor, checked the voting machines and discussed election operations in CCISD’s board room on 408 S. Main St.
“We usually have three workers that are here. Their job is to check the voters in; find out if they are a registered voter; issue them the number they need to vote on the machine; and assist them if they need help on a machine,” Carothers said.
The election is open to residents zoned in CCISD. Voters can find the specific school’s their address is zoned for on the district website under Transfinder-i/School Locator.
Voters need a photo ID that meets Coryell County standards. If they do not have an ID, they can fill out a form on-site.
Early polls are open through Sept. 4. The election is Sept. 8 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Coryell County Justice Center on 201st First St.
Copperas Cove is losing Impact Aid funding. Impact Aid comes from the federal government, providing funding and compensation for qualified school districts. As of the 2017-2018 academic year, 29.40 percent of students are connected to the military, but only 18.20 percent meet Impact Aid guidelines.
The drawdown started the 2017-2018 academic year. After the 2019-2020 academic budget year, the district is losing $12 million in Impact Aid. The loss will impact positions and programs that are not required or funded by the state. Parent liaisons, Communities In Schools and lunch aids would be the first position to face cutbacks.
“There are a lot of resources out there, and if those positions go away, those parents aren’t going to know the resources or have the help,” said Doreen Vasseur, Family Center Director of Armed Services YMCA.
The proposed TRE can generate $4.1 million from state education funding.
Texas public education is funded through local tax revenue and state education funding. Tier II funding is provided by the state. The amount of aid received per student is based on local tax revenue.
School districts entity tax comes from maintenance and operations tax and interest and sinking debt tax.
The maintenance and operations tax covers daily operational expenses. The interest and sinking debt tax covers debt covers new facilities, debt reduction on bonds, renovations and buses.
CCISD’s entity tax rate is $1.04 for M&O tax and 0.18 for I&S tax. The city has the second lowest entity tax out of six local independent school districts. Gatesville ISD has the lowest entity tax.
The proposed Tax Ratification Election is $1.17 for M&O tax and 0.18 for I&S tax, which increases CCISD’s tax rate by 13 cents. The total tax on the proposed TRE ballot is $1.35. The school board made a legal binding written promise to cut 13 cents from I&S tax.
“Until the voters come back and say we want to raise or lower taxes, the school board cannot do it, even if the school board members change ... because it is a legally binding contract,” said Cindy Hutcherson, a retired educator.
If the TRE is approved, the district intends to move forward on repairs for Fairview/Miss Jewel Elementary School, Clements Parsons Elementary School, Copperas Cove High School and Crossroads High School.
“Cove is one of the best for special ed kids and education. It is one of the best schools in the area, and we want to keep that reputation,” Vasseur said.