VATRE stands for Voter Approval Tax Rate Election. It is an election required by the State Legislature to approve a tax rate increase that generates additional revenue for public schools. Over 76% of Texas school districts have had a VATRE.
If a school district adopts a maintenance & operations (M&O) tax rate that exceeds the maximum amount allowed by state statute, a VATRE must be held to gain voter approval to raise the tax rate. For Fort Bend ISD a tax rate that exceeds $1.1546 will trigger a VATRE. The current tax rate is $1.2101.
Fort Bend ISD has a $47 million shortfall. A VATRE is one component in a two-part approach to eliminate the shortfall. The other component is strategic budget tightening.
How will the VATRE funds be used?
Voter approval of a tax rate of $1.2101 (the same rate as last year) will generate $47 million in additional revenue. The District is planning to use this additional revenue to:
Address the shortfall
Provide funding for safety measures, including assigning police officers to every elementary school campus
Allow increased compensation for teachers, raising starting pay to $60,000
Allow for long-serving staff to receive years-of-service supplemental pay for their commitment and dedication to FBISD
Maintaining Programs of Choice