From the outside, Franklin ISD doesn't look all that different from last year. But in the eyes of the State of Texas, there's been a big change. Franklin is now considered a "rich" school district and you have to go underground to find the reason behind the new designation.
"Because of gas and mineral explosion we've had in our area. Our property values have gone through the roof," says Franklin ISD School Board President Toni Matthews.
According to the Texas Education Agency, a district is only allowed a tax base of $305,000 per weighted average daily attendance or WADA. Currently Franklin ISD is just more than $323,000.
Now the school district has to figure out how it will share the wealth, which it's required to do and it's looking to the voters for answers.
"This is our community tax dollars that is gonna be spent. We would love for them to have a say in what they would like for us to do with that money. Certainly we don't have a choice in sending the money, but we do have choices in how to send the money," says Matthews.
Voters can choose from two different options: Option 3 allows the district to pay the state the money and they will disperse it to the poor school districts Option 4 will allow the money to be sent to a certain school district that needs the money.
By voting yes in favor of these two options, the district will equalize its wealth.
If the election fails, Franklin will be forced to pick one the remaining options, which means the district would have to consolidate property or their tax bases with a neighboring district.
Franklin residents can vote on Saturday, October 15. There will be two public meetings to explain and answer any questions for voters before the election. Thursday, October 6 is the first meeting at the First Baptist Church in New Baden at 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 11 at the Franklin High School library at 7 p.m. will be the last one.