The State Board of Education today voted to provide $2.46 billion from the (PSF) to Texas public schools over the next two years. That represents an estimated increase of $354 million over the funding level for this biennium.
“Through careful and prudent investments, the State Board of Education is able to increase funding to our schools. We’re happy to be able to offer this additional assistance,” said SBOE Chair Donna Bahorich.
Every two years shortly before the Texas Legislature convenes, the board must set a distribution rate to the Available School Fund from the Permanent School Fund, which is the country’s largest educational endowment.
In the current 2016-2017 biennium, the distribution rate is 3.5 percent of the market value of the PSF. The board agreed to increase the rate to 3.7 percent in the 2018-2019 biennium, which generates extra funds for the schools. The allocation per student will be approximately $218, an eleven percent increase from the current $196 per student.
The board also preliminarily approved formula adjustments to the Bond Guarantee Program. If given final approval on Feb. 3, the adjustment, based on available data, will allow the Permanent School Fund to back an estimated $249 million in charter school bonds as of March 2017 and additional $317 million in September.
About $1 billion in charter school bonds have already been backed by the Bond Guarantee Program. Any bonds backed by this state guarantee carry the highest possible bond rating, which saves districts and charters millions of dollars over the life of the bonds.