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 ...

Weekend Insider: Abortion Sonogram Law, Cancelling Highschool Sp

Until courts can hash out the state's abortion sonogram law, Texas must begin enforcing the new regulations. Emily Ramshaw explains how family planning clinics are complying. Under threat of closure by the state, one Texas school district is doing something unheard of: It's canceling all sports. Morgan Smith takes us to Premont, Texas.

Read more on these stories in this weekend's editions of The New York Times, and The Texas Tribune.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 12/19/11

Aaronson on Rick Perry's Texas Enterprise Fund, Aguliar on the DOJ's Joe Arpaio problem, Galbraith on the uncertainty about Texas' electric grid, Grissom and Schwartz of The New York Times on the latest in the Michael Morton case, Hamilton on the first leg of Perry's Iowa bus tour, Murphy and McLain unveil our new campaign finance database, Ramsey et al. go live with the first round of our 2012 election brackets, Root on a GOP rival's queries about Perry's pension play, M. Smith contrasts the various school finance lawsuits and Tan, Dehn and Murphy on a shortage of mental health professionals: The best of our best content from December 19-23, 2011.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 11/7/11

Ramshaw and Root on the debate that dominated the nation's political news, Tan and Ramshaw on how it will affect Rick Perry's campaign, Philpott on what "oops" might mean for Perry in South Carolina, Root on what it means in Iowa, Dehn with the latest Weekend Insider video, Galbraith on the split fates of water-related constitutional amendments, Grissom on an arrest in a 1986 murder case, Hamilton on UT-Arlington's efforts to control tuition costs and M. Smith, Murphy and Gerdau on West Texas schools raising money with wind farms: The best of our best content from November 7 to 11, 2011.

Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Texas.
Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Texas.

Government by Lawsuit Gives Cover to Texas Lawmakers

Judges have been telling legislators what to do since we set up government to replace knife fights and bar brawls. Over the years, lawmakers have learned some things. Importantly, voters will let their elected officials break their promises if the courts are holding gavels over their heads. School finance, for instance.

Schools and Taxes: The Next Big Thing

Texas Weekly

The primary elections come in less than five months. The general election is about a year away. When that's all out of the way, we'll all be talking about lawsuits — some that have been filed, some that will be filed later — on school finance and franchise taxes.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 10/10/11

Aaronson interactively asks if stimulus funds created jobs in Texas, Aguilar on new voter registrar rules that could decrease voter turnout, Galbraith on a UT professor's debunking of climate change "myths," Grissom on an epic clash of El Paso political titans, Hamilton on the right's new higher ed guru, Murphy maps household data from the 2010 Census, Ramsey on a coming rules fight in the Texas Senate, Root and M. Smith on Rick Perry's performance at the New Hampshire debate and M. Smith talks public ed cuts with the state's Superintendent of the Year: The best of our best content from October 10-14, 2011.

Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio
Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio

School Finance Suit Takes Shape

Texas Weekly

Within the education community, there have been rumors about a possible school finance lawsuit since well before the legislative session got under way. Now, with $4 billion less in public funding and a daunting new student assessment program on the horizon, those rumors have become a reality.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 8/8/11

Our all-hands-on-deck series on new laws — 31 Days, 31 Ways — continues, Root covers a challenge to the governor's school finance fix and the tax that makes it work, Philpott forecasts a presidential media tsunami will hit Texas, Murphy with a look at midyear campaign reports from candidates and PACs in Texas, yours truly on the quiet spot at the top of the 2014 ballot, Hamilton on government-required vaccinations against meningitis, Grissom reports on the heat wave in un-air-conditioned Texas jails, Aguilar on the private security business along the state's border with Mexico and M. Smith's interview with Nicole Hurd on how to get more high school students into college: The best of our best content from Aug. 8 to 12, 2011.

Texas teachers from Save Texas Schools crowd the hallway outside the House chamber protesting budget cuts on Saturday, May 21, 2011.
Texas teachers from Save Texas Schools crowd the hallway outside the House chamber protesting budget cuts on Saturday, May 21, 2011.

And Then There Were Taxes

Texas Weekly

A week has passed since school districts bracing for the worst at last got what they've been waiting for throughout the legislative session: finality. With the finance plan doling out the $4 billion reduction in state funding to schools firmly in place, they are now turning to the difficult work of finalizing their own budgets. In most instances, districts have already made cuts to programs and personnel for the upcoming school year, so that means looking at ways to find additional revenue. And that means dipping into fund balances, the school district equivalent of a Rainy Day Fund — or raising local property taxes.

A boy waves an American flag at an immigration rally held in Dallas on May Day.
A boy waves an American flag at an immigration rally held in Dallas on May Day.

The Brief: Top Texas News for July 1, 2011

Since most Texas counties have fireworks bans in effect this July 4 weekend, what better way to celebrate than recalling the legislative fireworks of recent weeks and imagining those still to come on the campaign trail?

Tourists enter the empty Senate chamber Wednesday morning as the Texas Senate adjourned sine die the day before, leaving the House with unfinished business on June 29, 2011.
Tourists enter the empty Senate chamber Wednesday morning as the Texas Senate adjourned sine die the day before, leaving the House with unfinished business on June 29, 2011.

How Will It Play?

Texas Weekly

Lawmakers have officially made their exit from the Pink Building, leaving two bills that will bring major changes to Texas school districts awaiting the governor's signature. Lawmakers, meanwhile, are wondering whether and how the two measures will play in next year's elections.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, moves away from the podium after moving to briefly postpone discussion on SB1 the budget bill on June 9, 2011.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, moves away from the podium after moving to briefly postpone discussion on SB1 the budget bill on June 9, 2011.

Fiscal Conservatives Frustrated With House Votes

 Rep. Donna Howard's proposal to direct surplus Rainy Day Fund money to Texas schools for enrollment growth survived to fight another day during debate on the House floor this morning, but not before a Republican attempt to derail it.