TEA has officially adopted changes to the FIRST rule. One important change was to modify the requirement for the board of trustees to discuss the use of a lagged property value in state funding calculations. This indicator has been modified so that districts now must only discuss the property value with the board as the state aid system no longer uses a lagged value. Districts can use this opportunity to remind the board that as property values increase, and tax collections rise, there is a corresponding decrease in state aid. As a reminder, TEA has said it will replace the current estimated district property value with the comptroller's preliminary value when it becomes available in February. All other things being equal, at that time, districts growing slower than the 5.76 percent growth rate used by TEA for LPE purposes should see an increase in calculated state aid as compared to current projections. Conversely, districts growing faster than that rate should see a decrease in state aid. This change could have cash flow implications for your district that you may want to prepare for.
Other modified indicators include:
Indicator 4 is modified to allow for IRS payments made within 30 days to be considered timely;
Indicator 5 is revised to account for the OPEB liability so that changes in accounting requirements do not negatively affect the calculated total net position;
Indicators 6, 7, 10 and 13 include technical corrections so that the printed rule more clearly specifies the calculations used;
Indicator 20 is changed to remove a reference to the lagged value and to specify that the board discussion take place prior to budget adoption.