Texas schools are struggling to provide a quality education, mostly due to budget problems plaguing districts around the state. From 2008 to 2015, per-pupil funding in Texas has dropped 16 percent when adjusted for inflation.
While state legislators continue to cut education funding, local school districts are forced to raise property taxes to make up for the shortfall. To complicate matters even more, any excess revenue generated by local tax increases is taken by the state and sent to other school districts as part of the school finance recapture system known as “Robin Hood.”
Thanks to politicians like State Representative Rodney Anderson (R- Grand Prairie), suburban property owners are seeing their property tax bills spike 40 percent or more since 2010, with little of that money actually staying to fund their own local schools. Homeowners looking for the Texas Legislature to pay its fair share of school funding won’t see relief on their tax bills with politicians like Anderson, whose vote maintain the status quo, and leave taxpayers behind.
Anderson, elected to the Texas House in 2010, voted in favor of SB 1 in 2011. That budget bill significantly slashed state funding for Texas schools, resulting in staff cuts, growing class sizes and poor test scores. Seven years later, homeowners in Anderson’s House District 105 are left wondering if their property taxes will continue to increase year after year, and whether their local schools will ever be adequately funded.
Article VII of our state constitution says it’s the legislature’s job to establish and maintain a system of public schools. It’s long past time Texas schools were properly funded, so the students of today can become the leaders of tomorrow. Instead, local property owners are forced to shoulder an unfair share of the burden because politicians like Rodney Anderson won’t do their job.
When will Anderson and other state lawmakers step up and give Texas children the opportunity to succeed and give Texas homeowners a break? We need to Reform Austin so our families have better schools and a more reasonable system of property taxes.