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Student Article


Some critics called the uncapped supplemental payments received by predominately rural West Texas school districts prior to 2009 “windfalls.” The result of this one-sided understanding, and subsequently the complete elimination of such agreements between school districts and companies owning qualifying projects, is a handicap to what could be utilized as a valuable tool in filling the current deficit for public school funding. In 2011, the 82nd Texas Legislature appropriated at least $4 billion below what had been the current formula funding level for public education for the 2012-2013 biennium; some estimates had this figure over $5 billion. More recently, in 2013, the 83rd Legislature only returned $3.4 billion to public schools. In a time when funding options are shrinking, why would the Comptroller’s office suggest, and the Legislature pass, caps on incentives that provide additional funding for school districts? This Article will explore the development of public school funding in Texas and the possibility of utilizing the Act as a means of providing additional funding for the public school system while encouraging large-scale capital investment, specifically by renewable energy projects qualifying under Chapter 313 of the Texas Tax Code.

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