Funding education with property taxes has created a legal and financial quagmire in Texas for more than four decades. There are other options available for Texas’ 5.4 million public school students.

Key points:

  • A reliance on local property taxes to fund education has been at the heart of its constitutional challenges for the better part of four decades.
  • Relying on local property taxes creates funding disparities that are hard to avoid in a statewide system with vast differences in local property wealth.
  • While the Texas Supreme Court has made it clear that efficiency is not impossible to attain while using local property taxes to fund the system, it pointed out the difficulty that inevitably comes along with doing so.
  • “Defects in the structure of the public school finance system expose the system to constitutional challenge. Pouring more money into the system may forestall those challenges, but only for a time. They will repeat until the system is overhauled” (WOC II, 8).