When Judge Dietz ruled the Texas public education system unconstitutional February 4th earlier this year, the public school finance system became a dominating issue for the remainder of the legislative session.
Over the next year we’ll be tracking this issue as it moves through the court system on its way to the Texas Supreme Court and eventual next legislative session in 2015. Stay tuned and bookmark our website, or follows us on twitter @CSC_Texas for the most current news and resources on the issues as they develop. You’ll find multiple sources for articles and opinions on the issue of school finance in Texas and the legislative process.
The 374 Revenue-Contributing School Districts in Texas – through their local taxpayers – play a vital role in improving the quality of education for all schoolchildren in the state.
Designated as Chapter 41 districts in the Texas Education Code, these Revenue-Contributing School have added more than $16 billion to the state public education budget since 1993, with many districts giving up more than 50 percent of their locally raised tax money.
In the 2012-13 school year, state lawmakers and the Texas Education Agency are counting on local taxpayers in the relatively small number of Revenue-Contributing Schools to put another $1,122,372,500 into the school finance system.
The Gilmer-Aikin Act, adopted by the Texas Legislature in 1949, established a public school finance system that, for the first time, included funding from local tax bases. This revenue was to be used for local enrichment. More than 60 years ago, local control was recognized as the key for local districts to flourish. The same remains true today.
The current school finance system, however, is making it extremely difficult for local communities to devote any extra resources to the educational needs of Texas schoolchildren.
Under the statewide school finance system, Revenue-Contributing Schools have paid more than $15 billion in locally raised taxes to the state since 1993. This money is driven into the education system exclusively by local taxpayers exercising local control. By May 2013, this number will reach 16 billion.
When taxpayers in Revenue-Contributing School Districts decide to spend more on their local schools, it drives significant new money to the state. Local discretion is essential to keeping the state funding system healthy. Without local control, the incentive to continue sending money to the state disappears.