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 ...

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. 

School Finance Trial Will Influence Session, With or Without a Final Decision

A final decision in the school finance trial against the state involving more than two-thirds of its districts and charter schools likely won’t happen until after the lights go out in the 83rd Legislature. But that doesn’t mean what’s happening inside of the courtroom now won’t have an impact on policy under the pink dome.

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.

At Houston's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Keenan Hurley (left), 18, and Roby Attal, 17, react to missing their target during a physics lesson on projectile motion that used Hot Wheels cars.
At Houston's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Keenan Hurley (left), 18, and Roby Attal, 17, react to missing their target during a physics lesson on projectile motion that used Hot Wheels cars.

For Some Teachers, Classroom Strain Runs Deeper Than Budget Cuts

Some consequences of the Legislature's more than $5 billion budget cut to public schools — like a loss of morale and stress levels in the classroom — aren't easily measured. But the pressure on teachers may have more complex origins.

Students at Austin ISD's Casis Elementary explore the pond in their newly built outdoor classroom.
Students at Austin ISD's Casis Elementary explore the pond in their newly built outdoor classroom.

Schools Turn to Parents' Dollars for Support

Parents are opening their pocketbooks to fund everything from outdoor classrooms to extra teaching positions in public schools when state and district money falls short. But the influx of private dollars concerns civil rights advocates who say it only exacerbates existing inequities in the public school system.

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 and Gas Boom Makes 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.