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How a state effort to fund Texas schools equitably is shortchanging dozens of rural districts

For decades, the Texas comptroller’s office has double-checked property valuations across the state, which help determine how much school districts can levy in property taxes. But when state and county appraisers disagree, districts can end up with big holes in their budgets.

Alpine ISD Superintendent Michelle Rinehart points to heaters that need to be upgraded inside a classroom at Alpine Elementary School.

Texas’ pursuit of equitable school funding backfires

Desks in a classroom at Alpine Elementary School.

Mounting needs, no new money

The fire alarm system at Alpine Middle School, installed in 1996, is currently inoperable and needs to be replaced.

A looming special session

A swamp cooler is the only equipment to cool the shop room at Alpine Middle School.

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Public education State government Property taxes School finance