NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A record number of Texas school districts now have to give up money to the state.
According to the Texas Education Agency, an additional 23 state school districts are now considered property wealthy. Under the “Robin Hood” school finance system that means a percentage of revenue from those schools goes back to the state to help fund poorer Texas school districts.
The addition means there are now 374 districts, statewide, that are required by law to share their wealth.
“We’re at the point now where a third of districts in the state area labeled as property wealthy, but I would argue that the majority of those districts and the citizens living in those districts do not feel that they are property wealthy and therefore should be sending money to the state,” Texas School Coalition executive director Christy Rome said.
According to the coalition, wealthier districts are being hurt because they send a billion dollars to the state every year.
And Rome says and the money “Isn’t enough to help those at the bottom. Only the state legislature can make the changes needed to the system to truly, adequately fund the system as a whole.”
Rome believes lofty goals have been set for all Texas schoolchildren but that the tools necessary to reach those goals aren’t there.
“The State of Texas has set expectations and standards for schools which we wholeheartedly support because we know it’s best for students, but we need the funding to accomplish those goals,” she said.
When the Robin Hood system started, nearly two decades ago, only 35 school districts were considered property wealthy.
The Texas School Coalition represents dozens of property wealthy districts. They are one of several groups suing the state over school funding. That trial begins next month in Austin.
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