Emails, R.G. Ratcliffe, politics editor, Texas Monthly, Feb. 6-7, 2018

9:15 p.m.

Feb. 6, 2018

Here's the spring story I referenced. If you go down in the story, you'll see it says: The overall funding formulas, though, have allowed the state to reduce its share of the total cost and shift it to local property taxpayers.

Source: Texas Education Agency

This was evident in a graphic provided by the Legislative Budget Board to the Senate Finance Committee last month. In 2012, the state paid 46 percent of the cost of public education; by the end of this year that will have declined to 41 percent. If the Legislature does nothing for the next two years other than finance enrollment growth, the state share will go down to 38 percent by 2019.

I don't know about in this email, but in the story you can open the document in a new window and it is readable. I've also attached the LBB document. (We just redesigned the web site so so stuff went screwy.) You'll note that unlike what RJ said, part of that number came from the LBB presentation to the Senate Finance Committee. Keep in mind, that was a projection. I'm not sure what the final number is.

The Mark White data came out of this document as I recall: 


The Initial Effects of House Bill 72 on Texas Public ...

The Initial Effects of House Bill 72 on Texas Public Schools: The Challenges of Equity and Effectiveness, PRP 70



Are Your Property Taxes Too High? Thank a Legislator ...

Property taxpayers will cover sixty percent of school costs. How did it come to this?



R.G. Ratcliffe

Texas Monthly

7:44 a.m.

Feb. 7, 2018

I can't tell whether I sent this to you last night or myself. So I'm forwarding the backup stuff.


R.G. Ratcliffe

Texas Monthly

From: "Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin)"

Date: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 10:17 AM

Subject: Circling back




I spotted the sentence pasted below in the linked LBJ School report. It’s also, far as I could tell with a word search, the report’s sole mention of 67 percent.


Do you think this was was your basis for saying the state then covered 67 percent of costs?




“The Equalizing Mechanism of House Bill 72 House Bill 72 operates by calculating a basic allotment for each district, including adjustments for special programs, small districts, and the POI. In general, this amount should not have an equalizing effect; in fact, because the POI is correlated with wealth, this amount would also be higher for wealthy districts. The equalizing power of House Bill 72 comes from the calculation of the "local share, 11 an amount which is higher for wealthy districts than for poor districts. The amount of state aid, then, is the adjusted basic allotment minus the local share, an amount that is substantial ly higher for poor districts. The local share is calculated so that the state funds 70 percent of the - 7 - statewide costs associated with the adjusted basic allotment plus transportation aid , falling to 67.7 percent in 1985-86 and thereafter. Its equali zing effect comes from the fact that the local share depends on the ratio of district property value per pupil to statewide property value per pupil. Thus, the wide disparities in property values shown in table 1 affect the calculation of aid.”

10:26 a.m.

Feb. 7, 2018

Yes. I wrote that White obit on deadline. Older LBB reports are not online and I couldn’t go to the library. But the 85-86 school year would have covered a full year of White’s tenure after the passage of HB 72 and the thereafter would indicate this amount went forward into his last few months in office in 1986. My reading of this would indicate the 84-85 school year was as 70 percent. So it is kind of pick your poison. I don’t remember whether I used 67 or 68 in the White obit. I got a call he died, and I researched it, wrote it and had it online in a little over an hour.


RG Ratcliffe

Texas Monthly

On Feb 7, 2018, at 5:57 PM, Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin) wrote:

This would be where you got the 38 percent figure?

6:01 p.m.

Feb. 7, 2018

Yes. From that LBB document that was using tea data.