Education News

Effort To Reform Texas School Finance Fails In Legislature

The key lawmaker who wanted to overhaul the school funding system this session withdrew his proposal Thursday.

Photo of Aycock
Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, has filed a bill to reform Texas school finance. It aims to simplify the complicated formulas and help districts like Houston keep more property taxes. Some analysts testified that it does not fix inequality in the system. Photographer: Sasha Haagensen


For decades, Texas has struggled with how it funds public schools.

One lawmaker wanted to try and fix system this session.

But that ambitious effort has failed.

On Thursday, Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, withdrew his proposal, which had cleared the House education committee earlier but faced long odds in the Senate.

Aycock said that the debate on his proposal would have taken too long and could have derailed other important bills before a key legislative deadline.

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Aycock acknowledged that the state Senate “almost certainly” wouldn’t even consider the effort.

The plan, also known as HB 1759, would have simplified the state’s complicated method of funding schools.

It also would have let some school districts, like Houston ISD, keep more of their property tax revenue instead of sending more money back to the state under the program known as “recapture” or “Robin Hood”.

Aycock also aimed to infuse $3 billion dollars into the funding system.

Last year, a state judge ruled the school finance system unconstitutional and unfair.

The case is on appeal to the Texas Supreme Court. 


Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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