School Finance 101

NOTE this page is continually under construction until we figure the most complete simple way to explain it. We are aiming for facts and not opinions. Please contact Jayne or Jennifer if you see something incorrect or you have an idea to ad.

Thank so all our great sources of information:, Community Impact Newspaper and all the Austin ISD Board Trustees who have educated us


  • the State of Texas is 41 st in the Nation in the amount of dollars it funds education

  • the State of Texas provides $ 4000/student less than the national average

  • the State of Texas' funding is in the bottom 10 states in the Union

  • the State of Texas educates more than 10% of the United States students

We need to do better

Send your positive public education story to #txed

We need to help change the legislator's opinion about public education

What is Recapture?

  • Recapture is meant to equalize wealth levels among districts

  • Chapter 49 of the state education code, a district that brings in more local revenue than it is entitled to is considered propeprty-welathy and must pay its excess local revenue to the stae to distribute dto property-poor districts.

Baseline Function for Recapture

Basic Allotment per student ($6,160) X Avg Daily attendance = Entitlement ( how much the district can keep)

the rate is adjusted bases on factor such as school size and number or low income campuses


  • Austin ISD is expecting to pay a record amount - almost $846 million in local property tax revenue to the state through recapture in 2022-2023. this is a 350% increase in recapture payments since 2015

  • Over half of Austin ISD budget of 1.68 Billion is projected to be paid out in recapture.

  • In 2021, Austin ISD paid approximately 700 million, more than the nexxt top five recapture paying districts combined.

  • Property values are increasing in Travis County, and at the same time the district's enrollement in decreasing (enrollment has dropped by 10,00 since 2015. So the gains are going to the state.

  • Austin ISD is projected to pay over $1 billion in recapture in the 2025/26 school year.

History of Recapture

  • In 1993, the Texas Legislature implemented recapture following a series of court rulings addressing inequalities in school funding. the state determines a disrict's entititlement- how much it should cost to educate a stundent - throught a complex set of formulas

  • The revenue a district is entitled to is determine by the number of students enrolled and daily attendance.

  • Any revenue over the district's entitlement is sent to the state to be redistributed to poor districts


  • in 2019, the Legislature passed House Bill 3, which reduced recapture rate a degree, but this was offset by inflation and Austin cost of living

  • In 2023 legislative session, Austin ISD is going to advocte for increased per studning funding, cost - of -living and inflation adjustements and a discount for paying early or on time.

  • JustFundIt is concerned about how the recapture dollars are used. They want more transaperency. Not all of the recapture dollars is distributed to poorer school districts