The Bastrop school district is lowering its tax rate just two years after the largest and most costly wildfires in Texas history destroyed 1,700 homes and torched 32,000 acres in the county.
The fires wiped out $1.7 million in property tax revenue for schools, and 138 students left the district, costing an additional $815,965 in funding for per-student attendance.
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Rebounding after the fires
Growth has more than made up for the money lost by the Bastrop school district after the Labor Day 2011 fires. The district now has more students and more property tax revenue than before. The district’s struggling high schools have also seen an academic turnaround in the last two years, earning top marks from the state.
Before the fires | Lost to fires | 2013-14 school year
Property value: $2.56 billion | $50 million | $2.6 billion
Enrollment: 8,898 students | 138 students | 9,400 students*
*Estimated enrollment by the end of the school year
Ongoing wildfire coverage
This is the latest in-depth report by the American-Statesman on topics surrounding recovery from the devastating 2011 Labor Day wildfires. Previous stories chronicled the disaster’s impact on residents and the environment, the federal and state governments’ aid response, and efforts to prevent future such outbreaks.