As a so-called “property rich” school district, Austin ISD can generate a higher amount of property taxes than can most other districts so we send almost 38 percent of our tax revenue to the state to share with other districts.
Most folks know this as Robin Hood, though it’s really called “recapture,” and it’s intended to make the system more equitable. More than 50 percent of our students are economically disadvantaged and 28 percent are English-language learners.
I’ve been delivering a similar message every chance I get because Austin taxpayers, in particular, are bearing the brunt of the Legislature’s failure to update our school finance system.
One major component — called the Cost of Education Index — is supposed to reflect local economic conditions, but it has stayed the same since the early ‘90s.
As property values go up, the state’s responsibility to pay for schools goes down.