During these tough economic times, the last thing people want is to pay more taxes. However, that’s exactly what we are asking our Humble ISD citizens to do; approve a 13-cent tax increase Nov. 22. Over these past few months, we’ve heard the horror stories regarding the inadequacies of House Bill 1, adopted in 2005; state funding per student frozen at 2005 levels, Weighted Average Daily Attendance funding below the state average, fuel allocation based on 1984 prices. In Humble ISD, since 2002, we’ve eliminated more than $27 million from our operating budget, at the same time, educating 30 percent more students. In May 2008, we were facing a staggering $25 million budget shortfall for the 2008 – 09 school year. Issuing budget reductions of $8 million left more than $17 million remaining to eliminate in order to balance our budget. At this time, we realized the next dollar we cut would eliminate many of the curriculum and programs that make us a desired school district to relocate into, thus calling for the input of you, our Humble ISD citizens. Thru this tax rollback election, you will help us determine what our district should look like moving forward. In times of economic challenges, the easiest and most convenient finger to point is the one directed at “administrative cost”. We always hear the district has too many administrators, too many employees not labeled “Teachers.” If you look at the Texas Education Agency, an independent authority for K – 12 education, you will notice our “administrative” costs significantly below the state average, amounting to less than 2 percent of our total operating budget. Administrative costs not only include central administration staff, but folks who drive our kids to and from campuses, and folks who provide maintenance and custodial services. Essential employees who make a tremendous difference in our district. As a transient area, Humble ISD has families constantly moving in and out, bringing a vibrant real estate market. As you look at your individual home value, ask yourself what would happen to your investment if our district had to eliminate programs such as Fine Arts and Athletics, cut back on janitorial services, eliminate school counselors, nurses and librarians? If we are not successful in passing this tax rollback, I can assure you, home values in our area will immediately drop by 10 – 20 percent. Don’t take my opinion, ask the Harris County Appraisal District. There is a direct correlation between the education we provide to students and home values. An undesirable School District (see North Forest ISD) will have significantly lower home values and many unmarketable properties. Families relocating into the Houston area will compare the educational programs, services and activities we provide to other districts in our surrounding area. House Bill 1 gave our State Legislatures the ultimate political weapon, the power of the ballot box. By implementing this inadequate and convoluted bill, they “passed the buck” to local school boards to implement the nastiest two words in our vocabulary – tax increase. By not providing a long-term solution for Public Education, they will be able to tell their constituency they did not pass a tax increase, their school board did. The funding of public education is not only a K-12 problem, but a higher education dilemma as well. As we look to our East (La., Fla. And Ga.) and our West (N.M.), ask yourself, how can these states afford to provide a college education to their citizens for “free,” and Texas cannot? As you write your $25,000 check to The University of Texas, or Texas A&M, ask yourself why is the state of Texas sitting on a $15 billion surplus, yet cannot adequately fund public education. What happened to our lottery money? Like my family, most of you moved here because of our schools. We are proud of the job our teachers and administrators do with the funds provided by the State of Texas. As Board Members, we serve because we believe education is critical to our future, and we understand the impact our district can have on property values. We will continue to do everything in our power to protect our district, our community, and the education of our most precious possession – our children. We ask you, no we beg you, help us provide the educational programs and services we all desire for our kids. On Nov. 22, please vote FOR the Humble ISD tax rollback election. Thank you and God bless. Dave Martin, president Humble ISD Board of Trustees

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