School Finance Bill Keeps Millions Of Tax Dollars in San Antonio Schools | Texas Public Radio

School Finance Bill Keeps Millions Of Tax Dollars in San Antonio Schools

Apr 2, 2019

The school finance overhaul bill HB 3 would keep millions of dollars in local property tax in San Antonio area schools and add hundreds of dollars more per student in funding, according to district-level impact estimates released by the nonpartisan Legislative Budget Board on Monday.

Right now, 10 districts in the metro area are subject to recapture, including Alamo Heights, North East, Boerne and Comal. The San Antonio Independent School District is slated to join them in fiscal year 2021.

HB 3 would whittle that list down to two: Alamo Heights and Boerne, and reduce the amount of money those two owe the state by around $17 million a year.

Recapture, more commonly known as Robin Hood, is the state’s primary means of ensuring funding equity between property-rich and property-poor school districts.  

HB 3 keeps recapture in place but reduces the number of school districts contributing to the system by increasing the amount of funding guaranteed each student. The bill also slightly compresses school districts' property tax rates and adds funding for full-day pre-k and increase funding for low-income students and English Language Learners.

Most central and southern Bexar County school districts would see an increase of at least $900 per student under HB 3 — with one exception. Southside ISD would get less than $500 more per student.

Most other schools in the area (including Northside, the larger charter networks and military districts) are expected to land somewhere between those two extremes.

HB 3 is up for debate in the House on Wednesday.

Camille Phillips can be reached at Camille@TPR.org and on Twitter at @cmpcamille.