You’re probably aware of the HISD referendum on the ballot this fall, which authorizes the Board of Trustees to pay $162 million to the state of Texas to comply with recapture, a/k/a Robin Hood laws. There’s a lot of opposition to this referendum, from several HISD Board members, the Chron editorial board, the Houston Federation of Teachers, and more. You’re also probably aware that voting the referendum down does not get HISD off the hook for recapture, it just means that instead of sending the Texas Education Agency a check, they will “detach” properties from HISD to fulfill the amount. Those who oppose the referendum hope to force the Legislature to take action to address recapture, while others say this is too big a risk to take? If you’re like me, you’re probably a little confused by all of this. With all that in mind, I reached out to David Thompson, who serves as general counsel for the HISD Board and who has represented HISD in multiple school finance lawsuits, to ask him all of my questions about recapture and the referendum. He helped me to understand it a lot better, and I hope the same will be true for you:
Interviews and Q&As from the primaries are on my 2016 Election page. I will eventually get around to updating it to include links to fall interviews.