Dallas ISD holds 1st 'State of the District' event

Dallas ISD held its first "State of the District" event on Friday.

Things are looking promising for the school district, which has the largest reserve fund in a decade, as lawmakers get serious about reforming school funding.

Superintendent Mike Hinojosa thinks lawmakers are saying all the right things about reforming school funding.

The main message in DISD's first-ever "State of the District" was that the district is on the rise.

Academics have been rising, with only four schools on the improvement required list -.compared with 43 just 4 years ago. The district's revenue is also rising after voters approved a tax ratification election.

The proposed cap on property tax revenue may not negatively impact urban school districts like Dallas ISD.

That's because urban and rural school districts would receive recapture money.

Under the current Robin Hood Law, this year, Dallas ISD had to give $64 million back to the state to help poorer districts.

"I think they're serious, being a superintendent 24 years, 10 years in Texas, I've never seen them this united, at least out of the box," Dr. Hinojosa said.

"When we're having to send millions away, it makes it difficult for our students to get what they deserve and need," said Renea Honea, president of Dallas Alliance AFT.

The district expects to have the largest reserve in years, at $450 million. It's three times what the district had in 2015.

Superintendent Hinojosa explained the money will quickly be drained to pay for teacher salaries, early childhood eduction, and choice schools.

State Sen. Royce West was at the "State of the District," and he said he believes property taxes need to be driven down, but he thinks a 2.5 percent cap will make it difficult for local governments to pay for things like police and fire.