89th Legislative Session

On June 20, 2024, the Board of Trustees of the Austin Independent School District approved the District’s first group of priorities for the 89th Legislature which will convene in January14, 2025. The emphasis is on public school funding – an issue in which our community has expressed a deep interest. These priorities focus on funding reforms that will increase the state’s funding for all school districts and lessen the reliance on recapture dollars.

We believe that the most effective solutions for school funding begin with an increase to the basic allotment. That would both increase funds available to all districts in the state and decrease the burden of recapture. Texas ranks in the bottom ten percent nationally in per student funding, spending $4000 less per student than the national average,while educating about 10 percent of all K-12 students in the U.S.

The Austin ISD Board of Trustees supports the original intent of recapture as a system to more equitably fund public education across the state of Texas. The focus of our priorities surrounding recapture is not to eliminate the system, but rather to support significant reforms to a system that is now almost three decades old and no longer working as intended.

Many of the 241 “property wealthy” school districts educate a majority of economically disadvantaged students. Austin ISD’s recapture payment is projected to be $690.8 million in 2024-25, nearly half of what it collects in proprty taxes. Austin ISD educates nearly 52 percent economically disadvantaged students at schools that support more than 90 languages.

The district will work with our community to identify additional legislative priorities for adoption by the Board of Trustees in early fall of 2024.

We Support


  • An increase in the basic allotment with the goal of matching the national average in per student funding by 2030.
  • A requirement that all recapture dollars be spent on education, ending the practice of the state supplanting its investment in education with recapture dollars.
  • A requirement that the basic allotment be adjusted each biennium based on the rate of inflation.
  • Restoring the discount for early payment of recapture.
  • A study that identifies the true cost of educating all students, including the cost of complying with state mandates.
  • An update to the Foundation School Program allotments to reflect the actual costs of programs associated with each allotment.
  • Increased funding for special education students to cover the actual district costs for providing needed services.


  • Instituting a formula to determine the amount of recapture paid by districts that takes into account the demographics of the student population.
  • A study of the impact of recapture on housing affordability.
  • A study of the recapture system to examine whether the current operation of the system aligns with the original goals when created in 1993.
  • A discount for districts that make early recapture payments, and converting two copper pennies to two golden pennies.

We Oppose

  • Vouchers, tax credits, taxpayer savings grants, tuition reimbursements or any other programs that divert public tax dollars to privately run schools.
  • Vouchers, tax credits, taxpayer savings grants, tuition reimbursements or any other programs that divert public tax dollars to private schools that are exempt from the state and federal accountability and admissions requirements applicable to public schools.
  • Any unfunded mandates and infringements on local control, including measures that erode local discretionary money and measures that seek to limit school districts’ ability to have representation before the Texas Legislature and the executive branch of government.

To receive weekly legislative summaries regarding issues affecting Austin ISD, please email Edna Ramon at edna.butts@austinisd.org.

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