School Finance

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Texas depends on property tax revenue to provide services like education and healthcare to its residents. This form of revenue has its advantages and disadvantages as we have seen in the past and are currently experiencing.

There are several solutions that we can adopt to buffer Texas from property tax, sales tax and volatile gas prices that are already being using by the majority of U.S. states and several industrialized countries.


  • Close corporate loopholes in the state sales tax
  • Reallocate some of the $800 million wasted on border security
  • Most affluent school districts use bonds to avoid the recapture process. We propose creating a state public bank to finance school infrastructure
  • The Gas Tax hasn’t risen since 1991 and would need to use a variable rate similar to other states since it funds 25% of the Permanent School Fund
  • Pre trial reform could save the state of Texas roughly $100 to $200 million annually
  • Reform the cost of education index that has not been updated since 1981


Texas Constitution
Code – Education Code
Chapter – 41 Equalized Wealth Level
Section – 41.02 Equalized Wealth Level
Chapter – 42 Foundation School Program
Section – 42.102 Cost of Education Adjustment

Code – Texas constitution
Article – 7 Education
Section – 5 Permanent School Fund; Available School Fund; Use of Funds; Distribution of Available School Fund
Section – 7.3 (a)(b) Taxes for Benefit of Schools; School Districts
Section – 19 Texas Tomorrow Fund

NCSL – State Role in Education Finance

NCSL – Frequently Asked Questions on the Property Tax

NPR – Texas Schools Grapple With Big Budget Cuts

NPR – Frustration. Burnout. Attrition. It’s Time To Address The National Teacher Shortage

NPR – Your State’s Schools Are In Trouble When A Judge Says …

NPR – How Much Does It Cost To Educate A Student In Michigan? (Or, In The U.S.?)

Houston Public Media – After Decades of Texas School Finance Battles, Some Say Little Has Changed

CBS – Judge says Texas’ school funding still unconstitutional

Texas Comptroller – Texas School Funding at a Glance

PBS – How Do We Fund Public Schools

The Washington Post – Spending in nation’s schools falls again, with wide variation across states

Texas Observer – Texas to Offer GED Alternatives After Test Costs Triple

Texas Observer – The Interview: Judge John Dietz on Texas’ School Finance Crisis

Texas Observer – Right-Wing Think Tank: Let the Market Sort Out School Finance

Texas Observer – How Rich School Districts Find a Tax Shelter in School Bonds

Texas Observer – The Interview: Judge John Dietz on Texas’ School Finance Crisis

Are Texas high school stadiums ‘loopholes’ in Robin Hood plan?

Dallas Observer – Rising property values fuel Dallas ISD’s first ‘Robin Hood’ payment

Bloomberg – High School Stadiums, Packed With Loopholes

Lubbock Avalanche Journal – School finance committee hears about loophole in franchise tax

Lubbock Avalanche Journal – School funds need closing of loopholes

Texas Tribune – Wind Farm Money Fuels Spending in West Texas Schools

Texas Tribune – Public School Funding in Texas

Texas Tribune – Rich Schools Hopeful Houston ISD Could Topple Robin Hood Plan

New York Times – Wind Money Fuels Spending and Benefits in Small Schools

New York Times – Few Solutions in Texas School Finance Ruling

New York Times – How Cuts to Public Universities Have Driven Students Out of State

Huffington Post – Texas School Districts File Third Lawsuit Against State Over School Funding

Huffington Post – Texas Cutting $5 Billion From Public Schools

Huffington Post – Texas Budget Restoring Funds Cut From Schools Approved By State Lawmakers

CPPP – Impact of Lower Oil Prices to State Revenue

CPPP – How to Fill the Hole in the Texas Revenue System

New York Times – Packers Analogy on Teacher Pay Backfires for Gov. Walker

Trib Talk – Don’t blame oil prices for budget woes

TEA – Permanent School Fund annual report earns national recognition

Raise Your Hand Texas – 5 million reasons to restore $5.3 billion for Texas schools

San Antonio Current – Tax breaks at our wealthier social institutions keep school districts running low on pencils

San Antonio Express – Davis eyes ditching corporate tax breaks

The Atlantic – Kansas’s Teacher Exodus

The Atlantic – The Folly of State Level Tax Cuts

Think Progress – Corporations are taking advantage of our underfunded public schools

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