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 ...

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, Travis County District Court Judge John Dietz ruled in February 2014 that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.
After a trial that lasted more than three months, Travis County District Court Judge John Dietz ruled in February 2014 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, Travis County District Court Judge John Dietz ruled in February 2014 that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.
After a trial that lasted more than three months, Travis County District Court Judge John Dietz ruled in February 2014 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 in the sweeping school finance trial as he considers 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?

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.

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 against the state.

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. 

Texas School Finance Trial Presses On

The massive trial involving more than two-thirds of the state's school districts and most of its charter schools has been under way for two weeks now — and while the evidence will continue to pour in until January, the arguments of all seven parties, including the state, have taken shape.

In Dilley ISD, southwest of San Antonio, business manager Elpidio Mata and Superintendent Nobert Rodriguez have seen property values balloon to about $275 million from $130 million two years ago.
In Dilley ISD, southwest of San Antonio, business manager Elpidio Mata and Superintendent Nobert Rodriguez have seen property values balloon to about $275 million from $130 million two years ago.

Oil, Gas Boom Makes School Districts Rich but Uneasy

Booming oil and gas production in the Eagle Ford Shale play has made property values soar — a sudden, surprising and sometimes stressful boon to some of the state's poorest school districts.

Pre-kindergarten students at Escobar Elementary School wait outside their classroom before going to music class.
Pre-kindergarten students at Escobar Elementary School wait outside their classroom before going to music class.

For Some Texas Schools, Demographic Future is Now

By 2050, nearly two-thirds of Texas public school children will be Hispanic. The demographic shift is already under way in classrooms statewide, where schools work to improve the academic success of the students of the new majority.  

Because of the complexity of school finance, it’s tempting to turn to per-student spending to understand how well — or how poorly — a district is spending its money. But that approach has its perils.
Because of the complexity of school finance, it’s tempting to turn to per-student spending to understand how well — or how poorly — a district is spending its money. But that approach has its perils.

Comparing Texas School District Expenses Has Challenges

Because of the complexity of school finance, it’s tempting to turn to per-student spending to understand how well — or how poorly — a district is spending its money. But that approach has its perils.