The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Public Education Agenda is a six-point agenda that will reallocate existing taxpayer dollars to where they matter most: the classroom. Focusing on the classroom will support teachers and effective programs that will improve the ability of all Texas children to read, do math at grade level, and understand the founding principles of America. The agenda will also eliminate the maintenance and operations school property tax over an estimated 12 years— including “Robin Hood”—which currently accounts for approximately 50 percent of all property taxes and significantly reduce property tax burdens on Texas families. 

There are two critical financial components to Texas’ education system: how we tax people to pay for education (revenue) and how we use the tax money to educate children (spending). Simply putting more taxpayer dollars into the school finance system will not improve student outcomes. How much we spend on public education is not nearly as important as how we spend the money. Money should be spent in the classroom improving student results. 

Key Points:

  1. Direct school boards, principals, and teachers to establish goals and monitor the progress of their schools’ and students’ reading and math outcomes
  2. Direct school boards to adopt merit pay programs for Texas’ most effective principals and teachers and support their curriculum success in the classroom
  3. Empower parents to ensure their children have a civics education focused on the founding principles of America
  4. Eliminate the maintenance and operations (M&O) school property tax in order to significantly reduce each family’s property tax burden
  5. Stop taxpayer-funded lobbying
  6. Give voters the opportunity to trigger school district efficiency audits to improve the use of taxpayer money