Funding for Texas’s public schools comes from three main sources: local school district property taxes, state funds and federal funds. The majority comes from local property taxes which are collected by school districts. Most of the state funds are distributed to districts through a system known as the Foundation School Program. The funding problem is twofold: these local funds are distributed inequitably among districts and then managed by local school boards. Each district has a different way of managing their funds, resulting in dramatically different ways that programs and staffing are cut when there is a budget shortfall.
During the last legislative session, state funds were slashed by $5.4 billion. These cuts have a real impact on students and classrooms: larger class sizes, cuts to Pre-K education, reduced arts and music programming (or programs being cut all together), and much more. You can take action now by signing your name to the list demanding better funding in our classrooms.
Texas School Funding - The Breakdown
- Federal funds are composed of Title 1 dollars to support economically disadvantaged students and may include specialized grants for students with disabilities, English-language learners (ELL), preschool programs, migrant students and vocational education.
- State funds are funnelled into the Available School Fund and the Permanent School Fund. Additional revenue is collected through recaptured property taxes, and taxes on oil, natural gas, franchises, tobacco and used car sales.
- Local funds are revenue generated by taxing local property. These funds finance programs and staffing, as well as facilities and initiatives unique to each school district. The use of these funds is directed by local school boards.