Reforming Robin Hood
This petition had 2,049 supporters
Texas has a long-standing constitutional mandate to provide free public education to the children of our state.
Over the course of time, funding that mandate has become increasingly challenging, compounded by real and perceived inequities that result from a system that relies on local property taxes to fund the lion’s share of education costs.
In an honorable effort to bring balance to the system, the State of Texas in 1993 initiated the funding formula commonly known as “Robin Hood.” (You also will hear the term “Chapter 41” used, referring to the Texas Education Agency code that details this legislation.) In brief, driven by a complex funding formula, those districts identified as “property wealthy” have local tax dollars “recaptured” by the state for redistribution to “property poor” districts.
While noble at its inception, Robin Hood’s impact on a growing number of property wealthy districts is causing an erosion of quality. Increasingly, the state is relying on local tax dollars to fund the STATE'S obligation to its citizens.
Since being designated a Chapter 41 district in 2005, Boerne ISD has paid more than $83 million in “Robin Hood” payments to the State of Texas. The effect of this has been an increasingly tight budget for our local school district – one of the state’s 76 fast-growing school districts.
Once its Robin Hood obligation is paid, Boerne ISD has significantly less to spend to educate its own students - more than $1,000 less per student than the state average. In other words, the pendulum has swung too far.
It is time for the Texas Legislature to address this growing imbalance. Even the Texas Supreme Court in a June 2016 ruling said that the current system meets only the minimal requirements of the Texas Constitution, calling it “byzantine, overly complicated, and in need of significant improvement.”
We advocate for and support a reformed Robin Hood system that allows local districts to retain our local property taxes up to the average expenditure per student statewide. We believe this is a fair, reasonable approach to school finance reform.
Our elected officials – the Texas Legislature – must now take responsibility for providing a truly equitable school finance system. We ask for your support of Boerne ISD’s Board of Trustees legislative priorities for 2017 by signing the petition below. Thank you for your consideration.
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