Facts and insights about Texas public schools
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Editorial: Get School Finance Reform Right in 2019

The Texas House’s new speaker, Rep. Dennis Bonnen, has said fixing the state’s broken school finance system is his top priority. Other state leaders agree that an improved school finance system should be a top priority.

“We’re encouraged to see state leaders finally talking about addressing school finance head-on. But we need to go beyond the talk of capping tax revenue…and make sure leaders root out the sources of inequity in the way we fund public education in Texas,” an editorial in the Austin American-Statesman reads.

The Texas Commission on Public School Finance will soon make recommendations on ways to fix outdated funding formulas. “But let’s be clear: The equation won’t get balanced without officials putting more state money for local school districts on the table,” the editorial reads.

In 2008, school districts kicked in $18 billion, about the same amount the state kicked in. Today, the state contributes $19 billion, while school districts pony up $27 billion. “Lawmakers have used the school finance system as a shell game, raking in billions of new dollars as property values rise in Austin and other cities, then using that windfall to decrease the state’s own contribution to public education,” the editorial states.

The editorial urges lawmakers to get school finance reform right. The starting point is providing more state funds to ensure less reliance on local property taxes.

Read “Editorial: Get school finance reform right in 2019 session,” Austin American-Statesman.

November 28, 2018