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2019 Talking Points: School Finance

According to the 2019 Texas Public Education Perceptions Poll, Texans say education is the most important issue for the governor and Texas Legislature to address and that they bear the greatest responsibility for improving public education. School finance is consistently a top priority for members of TASA; the following talking points are intended to provide useful information for administrators and legislators to discuss school finance during the 86th legislative session.

Facts on Student Enrollment

Enrollment in Texas public schools increased by 18.8 percent between 2004 and 2014, more than six times the increase across the United States (3.1 percent) during this same time period. This dramatic increase in statewide public school enrollment was the second-highest in the nation, behind Utah (26.6 percent).

Facts on School Funding

  • Statewide taxable values increased from $1.712 trillion to $2.389 trillion from FY 2010 to FY 2018.
  • The number of school districts taxing at the maximum maintenance and operation (M&O) tax rate of $1.17 increased from 179 to 401 from FY 2010 to FY 2018.
  • Increases in the Basic Allotment have increased less than 1 percent each year — from $4,765 in 2009-10 to $5,140 in 2017-18.
  • School district property taxes recaptured by the state have increased dramatically — more than doubling since the 2013-14 school year. The state is collecting $4.5 billion from school districts in recaptured funds for the 2018-19 biennium.
  • State aid for the Foundation School Program (FSP) has decreased from $16.7 billion in the 2009-10 school year to $15.7 billion in 2018-19.
  • Student attendance (ADA) has increased every school year. (Note: Student enrollment is the total number of students eligible to attend school, and ADA is based on the how often the students actually attend a school.)
  • State aid per student (ADA) has dropped from $3,840 in the 2009-10 school year to $3,253 in the 2018-19 school year.

Recapture – Robin Hood

Two hundred thirteen school districts are expected to pay recapture in 2019, up from 125 in 2004. Recapture as a percentage of total M&O during this period increased to 6 percent from 4 percent.

State’s Share of Foundation School Program

The state share of funding public education through the Foundation School Program (FSP) has steadily declined since 2014 when it was 45 percent. The Legislative Budget Board projects the state share of public education funding through the FSP will be only 38 percent for FY 2019.

Charter School Facts

  • Charter schools are expected to receive 16.8 percent of state aid while only educating 6.4 percent of students in ADA in 2019.
  • The number of charter campuses has increased from 558 in 2010-11 to 707 in 2017-18.
  • In 2017-18, enrollment in open-enrollment charter campuses increased from the previous year by 8.6 percent.
  • The number of students enrolled in charter schools has increased since 2010, resulting in an increase in the state share of funding for these students.


Fiscal Size Up 2018-19, Legislative Budget Board TEA Pocket Edition Enrollment in Texas Public Schools, 2017-18 (August 2018) PDF, Texas Education Agency DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION WITH CHARTS

More Talking Points

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