Austin ISD Legislative Priorities

86th Legislative Session

The 86th legislative session convened Jan. 8. This website is intended to help our community learn facts about our students, campuses, budget and programs; legislative priorities; and how to become and stay informed about legislative matters. An overview of legislative issues can be found on this page.  Bills that are of interest to the district can be found on the Bills page.  

Important Dates

  • Monday, Nov. 12, 2018: First day to pre-file bills for the 86th Legislative Session
  • Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019: Start of 86th Legislative Session
  • Tuesday, Jan. 15: Inauguration of the governor and lieutenant governor
  • Friday, March 8: Last day to file bills for the 86th Legislative Session
  • Monday, May 27 (140th day): Last day of 86th Legislature (sine die)

AISD Legislative Priorities

On Aug. 27, 2018, the Austin ISD Board of Trustees adopted Legislative Priorities for the 86th Legislative Session. 

AISD is the single largest payer of recapture, also known as Robin Hood. Recapture requires districts to send a portion of their local property tax revenue to the state. Under this system, the district is required to send a projected $673 million to the state in 2018–19—nearly one-quarter of the total recapture payments collected by the state. Learn more about recapture and its effects on AISD students and staff in the video below. 


Austin ISD Finance Video 2019 from Austin ISD TV on Vimeo.

Though AISD is considered “property-wealthy” under recapture, the district serves a more diverse student population with costlier educational needs than the typical Chapter 41 district. AISD celebrates its diversity, and is committed to offering all students an excellent education. But additional resources are needed to support a diverse student population in which:

  • More than 53 percent of children are from economically disadvantaged homes.
  • For more than one in four, English is not the first language.
  • There are more than 94 languages spoken throughout the district.
  • One in 10 children is classified as having a learning (or other) disability.

Learn more about the district's legislative priorities.

Learn more about AISD's finances and recapture.

Learn more about funding weights.

Learn more about the Cost of Education Index.

Learn more about the transportation allotment.

Learn more about the district's Social Security obligation. 

Learn more about how AISD addresses student mental health.

To contact a legislator, go to the member's website.

Local Control and Accountability

Austin ISD supports public schools governed by locally elected school boards. The school board should have the flexibility to lower tax rates and, if needed, return them to previous voter-approved rates at a later date. The district opposes unfunded mandates.

Austin ISD supports an accountability system that evaluates school quality and student performance as fairly and accurately as possible, without penalizing schools for factors outside their control. The accountability system should include multiple measures of student performance and growth, rather than an over-reliance on standardized tests. Such an accountability framework would allow districts to innovate and customize curriculum and instruction to meet the needs of students and communities.

Excellence in Programming and Services

Providing mental and behavior health services to adolescents at the first signs of emotional distress increases academic performance and lessens disciplinary issues. The legislature should support the district’s efforts regarding campus-based mental and behavioral health services, and ensure that campus-based behavioral health counselors are admitted to insurance programs as in-network providers.

Learn more about the district's mental health priorities.

AISD is proud of the wide variety of academic options and support services it provides. The legislature should continue to support excellence in programming by providing funding for full-day Pre-K. 

Learn About Taxparency

Taxparency is an effort of school districts to clearly demonstrate how local school property taxes and state funding are being used to fund public education. Generally, as property values and thus property taxes, rise, the percentage of state funding going to education is decreasing. 

To read about Taxparency and watch the Taxparency videovisit the Taxparency Texas website.   


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