texas school finance

The Austin American-Statesman reports that the Texas Senators have agreed to levy a $1/$100 statewide property tax, as well as expand the franchise tax, in order to help save public education in the state.
Currently, since the so-called Robin Hood plan was struck down, schools are financed by a locally-administered property tax that is capped at $1.50/$100.
It will be interesting to see how the state plans send money back to the districts. The initial problem with school financing was that rich areas would bring in a very large amount for public education while poor areas would bring in a very low dollar amount. The Robin Hood plan took money from the richer areas and sent it to the poorer areas. My guess is that the statewide tax would do the same thing in effect, however, it would not be “taking money away”.
I do need to do more research on the statewide property tax. I remember one of the arguments used by those opposed to the Robin Hood plan was that it in-effect created a statewide property tax. I cannot remember if they argued that it was unconstitutional or simply not allowed by law. If it was unconstitutional, we’ll be looking at a fun year as the voters prepare to decide it in the polls.
In either case, we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves. The session is only a couple of days old.






One response to “texas school finance

  1. Jorge Avatar

    School financing, what a great topic. I personally am a big proponent of the so called Robin Hood plan… in all honesty why should kids suffer for a condition that they were born into when it comes to education. I dont think there is a 1.5/100 dollar limit on property tax for schools, I believe right now I am paying 1.85/100 for that in Pflugerville, and Austinites are paying 1.63/100 for their schools. Regardless you are right, it will be very interesting to see how everything pans out. I vote for one large pot of money and it getting distributed equally among schools depending on their size, x amount of money per student type of thing. Granted it will take a bit of rearranging of the funds at first at least while all the subpar schools are brought up to par… by that time we will need to make updates to the original schools that were once up to par but have fallen short, then you will have the Mexicans like me who will need extra help learning English, so they need a little extra money for an ESL/Bilingual education teacher. Of course we cant forget our extra curricular activities. Oh geez… it is more complicated than I thought… THATS IT … forget school, lets everyone just stay home and learn everything we need to know from television… Then our property taxes can go to really big TV’s … Hooray!!!

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