Tribpedia: School Finance

School finance describes the method in which Texas public schools are funded. Public elementary and secondary education in Texas is financed by a combination of state and local revenue.

The local source of operating revenue for school districts is the property tax. This is what leads to wide disparities in education spending, as some districts with expensive commercial property have ...

Analysis: Cutting a Tax the State Does Not Levy

Some officeholders have raised the idea of replacing Texas' property tax with a larger sales tax. But that could create some new fiscal challenges.
Some officeholders have raised the idea of replacing Texas' property tax with a larger sales tax. But that could create some new fiscal challenges.

The state of Texas does not levy a property tax, but state lawmakers would like to lower property tax bills anyway — a quest that could take them into school finance or into relief for some taxpayers at the expense of others. Increasing tax exemptions for homeowners, for instance, could increase tax bills paid by business property owners.

After a trial that lasted more than three months, Judge John Dietz ruled in February that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.
After a trial that lasted more than three months, Judge John Dietz ruled in February that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.

Texas School Finance Trial Enters Phase Two

Lawyers representing nearly two-thirds of Texas school districts in a lawsuit against the state argued Tuesday that not only was a 2013 legislative funding boost short term, but that other changes had increased costs for schools.

 

Bayless Elementary teacher Holly Guillmen identifies and explains the use of the contents of the Waterwise home water conservation kit provided to students by the High Plains Underground Water District in Lubbock, Texas, Oct. 17, 2012.
Bayless Elementary teacher Holly Guillmen identifies and explains the use of the contents of the Waterwise home water conservation kit provided to students by the High Plains Underground Water District in Lubbock, Texas, Oct. 17, 2012.

Polling Center: Education Could Test Both Parties

Education could be a tricky issue for gubernatorial candidates in 2014, with both the Democratic and Republican nominee having to navigate through unexpected cross-currents among their own constituencies.

After a trial that lasted more than three months, Judge John Dietz ruled in February that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.
After a trial that lasted more than three months, Judge John Dietz ruled in February that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.

Texas School Finance Trial Goes for Round Two

After hearing brief arguments on whether to reopen evidence in the school finance case because of laws passed during the legislative session, state district court Judge John Dietz announced Wednesday that a new, six-week trial will begin in January.

After a trial that lasted more than three months, Judge John Dietz ruled in February that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.
After a trial that lasted more than three months, Judge John Dietz ruled in February that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.

Lawyers Ask to Reopen Evidence in School Finance Trial

State District Court Judge John Dietz will hear new evidence the sweeping school finance trial that concluded in February to consider the effects of changes made during the recent legislative session. 

District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin is shown in his courtroom on Feb. 4, 2013, before he ruled that the state's school finance system was unconstitutional.
District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin is shown in his courtroom on Feb. 4, 2013, before he ruled that the state's school finance system was unconstitutional.

Whatever Became of That School Finance Ruling?

Texas Weekly

State District Court Judge John Dietz said in February that a detailed ruling on the state's school finance system would be released by mid-March. It’s now June, and there is still no final decision in the sweeping lawsuit involving more than two-thirds of Texas school districts that arose after the Legislature eliminated roughly $5.4 billion from state public education funding in 2011.

TribLive: A Conversation About School Finance

On April 19, I talked with former House Public Education Committee chairmen Rob Eissler and Kent Grusendorf, former vice chairman Scott Hochberg and attorney David Thompson about the perennially unresolved question of how the state should fund public education. Our conversation was co-presented by the Center for Politics and Governance at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

Handicapping the High Court on School Finance

Texas Weekly

When the Texas Supreme Court last considered school finance system in 2005, it upheld one of the trial court's findings and overturned another in a 7-to-1 decision. Plaintiffs in the current lawsuit hope what the court originally saw as an impending constitutional violation has turned into a real one.

Attorneys representing Texas school districts congratulated each other after a judge ruled on Feb. 4, 2013, that the state's school finance system was unconstitutional.
Attorneys representing Texas school districts congratulated each other after a judge ruled on Feb. 4, 2013, that the state's school finance system was unconstitutional.

Updated: School Finance Ruling Favors Districts

In a decision sure to be appealed to the Texas Supreme Court, state district Judge John Dietz ruled Monday in favor of more than 600 school districts on all of their major claims. He declined to find either the state cap on charter contracts or their lack of access to facilities funding unconstitutional.

TribLive at the Austin Club featuring State Sen. Tommy Williams and State Rep. Jim Pitts on financial issues facing the 83rd Texas Legislature.
TribLive at the Austin Club featuring State Sen. Tommy Williams and State Rep. Jim Pitts on financial issues facing the 83rd Texas Legislature.

Pitts and Williams Say School Funding Debate Can Wait

Ongoing school finance litigation will likely prevent the Legislature from discussing education funding issues this session, two Republican budget leaders said at a TribLive event Thursday.