Information released by the Texas Comptroller's Office shows the Wichita Falls School District has a low outstanding tax supported debt compared to other similar sized school districts in the comptroller's office report.
Whether the numbers help or hurt passage of a bond issue may depend on who is looking at them.
Supporters of the WFISD school bond say it shows other communities support their schools by investing in education, while those opposed to the bond say the lower the outstanding debt, the better.
Based on the Texas Education Agency enrollment data, the Texas Comptroller's Office compared similar sized school district's outstanding tax supported debt and Wichita Falls ranks the lowest among those in the WFISD report.
“If you take our total debt and divide by our pupils, our students, our enrollment we have the lowest amount which is $3,490 per student ,” said Cindy Tatum, the WFISD Chief Financial Officer.
Rockwall ISD had the largest debt per pupil at more than $24,000.
Among all ten schools in the comparison, the average outstanding debt per pupil is a little more than $8,000.
The WFISD has said the impact on taxpayers of this $125 million bond, should it pass, would be lessened because debt from a previous bond will roll off the books this summer.
“If the bond passes their tax will increase approximately 12 cents. And that would be on top of our $1.20 that we currently have. If the bond does not pass then the tax payers would see a reduction in their tax approximately eight cents,” said Tatum.
If the bond does pass the Wichita Falls School District would move up to sixth in the comptroller's comparison group.
“If the bond passes it would increase our per pupil tax supported debt by approximately $8,500 and that would put us up to sixth in our peer group of ten,” said Tatum.
To see the full report from the Texas Comptroller's Office go this link: http://www.texastransparency.org/Special_Features/Debt_at_a_Glance/ISD.php?isdname=Wichita%20Falls%20ISD&isdsubmit=GO