Documents & Tools
The following handouts provide an in-depth look at the Texas public school finance system and its impact on school districts. These fact sheets should be essential reading for anyone seeking more information about how Texas funds public education.
For any followup information, please do not hesitate to contact the Texas School Coalition staff.
Documents & Tools
Prepayment Discount for Recapture
Credit incentivizes early payment and offers relief from record-high recapture
Issues in Focus: Taxparency
Taxpayers should know where their tax dollars go.
Issues in Focus: Recapture
The State of Texas is taking record amounts from school districts through recapture.
Per-Student Funding & Inflation
State investments will help enable public schools to meet students’ needs.
The Shell Game
Learn how the legislative appropriations process has become a “shell game” when it comes to Robin Hood recapture.
Public tax dollars should fund public schools that have clear systems of academic and fiscal accountability.
Sustainable Funding for Schools
Lasting investments in Texas students —the state’s future workforce — will help ensure future economic success.
Formula Transition Grants
Coming expiration of short-term grants threatens education funding.
School Finance testimony in House
The Coalition provided testimony to the House Public Education Committee on school finance. Since HB 3, inflation has increased by 12%, while school funding has been flat. Since recapture was reduced by HB 3, it has increased by 25%.
School Finance testimony in Senate
The Coalition provided testimony to the Senate Education Committee on school finance. Since HB 3, inflation has increased by 9%, while school funding has been flat. Since recapture was reduced by HB 3, it has increased by 22%.
School Funding Still in Need of Improvement
Some people have recently tried to downplay the impact of recapture on schools and taxpayers by saying the State and the federal government have already made sizable investments to help our schools. These points are recommended to provide some important context and facts.
CSHB 1525 Threatens Funding for Public Schools
House Bill 1525 is billed as the “clean up” measure that addresses unintended consequences of school finance reforms passed in 2019. However, the Senate version of HB 1525 goes much further and could lead to funding reductions for many school districts. It would also severely limit districts’ ability to use federal education funds as intended.
Formula Transition Grant Prevents Funding Losses
The House Bill 3 school finance legislation passed in 2019 invested billions of new dollars in public education, but the new law’s changes to funding formulas left some districts with less funding. The Legislature put Formula Transition Grants in place to ensure districts received a minimum increase. FTGs make the law adopted in 2019 better than the law we had before; without it (or with it at a reduced amount), that isn’t the case.
What schools need to know about ESSER 3
On April 28, 2021, state leaders announced that the entirety of the $11.2 billion from the LEA allocation under ESSER III would flow to Texas schools. This post is intended to focus specifically on what district leaders need to know about the ESSER III allocation for school districts.
Fund Balances Help School Districts Manage Resources
In simple terms, fund balance is the difference between assets and liabilities in a governmental fund as of the close of the fiscal year. School districts use their fund balances to responsibly manage cash flow — especially in districts that pay recapture and cannot lean on regular state funding.
Federal Relief Funds: Schools Left Waiting as Texas Stalls
Rather than trying to determine how to distribute federal dollars to the schools that need them, Texas is trying to withhold them. Some 40 states have started distributing dollars to their schools, but Texas has not.
Preserve local control and flexibility
Locally elected school boards should have the flexibility to make decisions that are best for their communities’ unique needs.
COVID-19’s Impact on Education
The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on public education in Texas, and it will take years to overcome that impact.
After challenging year, support for public schools is critical
In order to meet the state’s future workforce needs and give all Texas children the opportunity to succeed, it is critical that the state continue to invest in public education.
As 2021 Approaches, Uncertainty Surrounds Education Funding
The state’s economic outlook has worsened considerably over the last year, which affects public education’s fiscal outlook going forward.
How School District Fund Balances Differ from State’s Rainy Day Fund
Don’t be fooled. School district fund balances are an important cash management tool and are not the same as the State’s Rainy Day Fund.
School Finance Overview
The Past Decade in Texas School Finance
Over the course of the last 10 years, the Texas Legislature has at times made investments in public education and, during struggling economic times, reduced…
Texas School Finance FAQs
How big is the public education system in Texas? More than 5.4 million children attend Texas public schools and more than 720,000 people work in…
School Finance Reforms Didn’t Reduce Recapture for Everyone
School finance reforms enacted in 2019 reduced recapture statewide Recapture (also known as “Robin Hood”) is the process by which the state takes some of…
The Texas School Coalition used the following documents in presentations to member districts and other groups: