Today in Texas History – November 2

From the Annals of School Financing –  In 1920, voters ratified the Better Schools Amendment to the Constitution of 1876. The amendment removed limits on school district tax rates and was intended to ease the state’s share of school financing. Supporters of the Amendment also hoped it would increase equality in school conditions by enabling each district to improve its facilities. The impact of the amendment was erratic.  By 1923, there was a 51 percent increase in overall local taxes for school districts support for public schools.  Yet, many school districts refused to increase tax rates and continued to rely on the state as their primary source of financing.  The problems caused by the Amendment persist today as the reliance on local property taxes for the majority of public school financing has created great inequity between rich and poor school districts leading the Legislature to enact the very controversial Robin Hood school financing plan.

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