HISD leaders will continue to work with the Texas Legislature on a long-term solution to school finance after voters on Saturday authorized the district to pay its Recapture obligation by writing a check to the state using local property tax dollars.
Under state law, HISD is considered property-wealthy, meaning the district exceeds a wealth per student set by the Texas Legislature and is required to send a portion of local property tax dollars to the state – a process called Recapture. It is part of the state’s school finance system commonly known as the “Robin Hood” plan.
Saturday’s vote, using state-mandated ballot language, asked voters whether the district should make the Recapture payment by purchasing attendance credits. The district otherwise would face detachment of the district’s most valuable commercial property.
HISD voters first voted on Proposition 1 in November of 2016, when they rejected it. In the following months, action by the Texas Education Agency and other factors lowered HISD’s Recapture obligation from $162 million to $77.5 million, prompting the HISD Board of Education to call the new election.
“We want to thank our legislative delegation for supporting HISD and seeking changes to the funding formulas, and we want to thank the Texas Education Agency for significantly lowering our Recapture obligation this year,” said HISD Board of Education President Wanda Adams. “The board will continue to work with lawmakers to fix the broken school finance system, which impacts districts across the state. We look forward to seeing meaningful changes that ensure all Texas children are provided the resources they desperately need to succeed. We at HISD believe education is an investment, not an expense, and we hope the Legislature views it the same way.”