State Budget Moves to Conference Committee
The Texas House of Representatives has passed the state budget bill, but failed to restore funding for all Texas schools. While no one can deny that the state's economy has improved and state revenues have increased, funding for some schools still remains well below the levels prior to the severe cuts instituted during the last legislative session.
All Texas school districts had to endure the cuts and all school districts should have their funding restored.
Now that both the House and Senate have adopted their different versions of the budget, a conference committee has been formed to work out the differences and decide what the final budget will be for Texas over the next two years. This process presents the last opportunity for our coalition of concerned taxpayers, teachers and parents to ensure that this session's budget bill restores funding to all schools that were affected by the cuts.
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 $15 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.
How Much is Enough? Read more
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. Read more
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.