HISD supports House Bill 21 to increase funding for all schools and lower Recapture payments statewide

Bill would reduce HISD’s 2018-19 biennium recapture payment

The Houston Independent School District supports House Bill 21, which passed the Texas House of Representatives April 20 and would lower HISD’s Recapture obligation providing approximately $40 million in additional resources for the 2018-19 biennium.

Houston voters go to the polls on May 6 to decide how to pay this year’s Recapture obligation of $77.5 million. Proposition 1 asks voters whether they want to “purchase attendance credits.” A vote for means HISD will write a check to the state, while a vote against would result in the state’s detachment and reassignment of the district’s most valuable commercial property. Early voting begins April 24, 2017, and ends May 2, 2017.

House Bill 21 is expected to increase the basic allotment for all schools to $5,350, which also reduces payments for all Texas schools currently in Recapture. The bill also invests in English-language learners and students with dyslexia. The bill will now go to the Texas Senate.

“I’m pleased the House of Representatives is making an effort to fix an outdated school finance system,” said HISD Board President Wanda Adams. “HB 21 is a step in the right direction for public education and will help provide our students with the resources they need. On behalf of the Board, I’d like to thank Speaker Straus, Chairman Huberty, Chairman Zerwas, Chairman Ashby, Chairwoman Senfronia Thompson, and the members of HISD’s House delegation for their hard work and support.”

HISD voters first voted on Recapture, or Proposition 1, in November 2016. Since that vote, action by the Texas Education Agency and other factors have lowered HISD’s Recapture obligation from $162 million to $77.5 million. In response, the HISD Board of Education voted to call the May 6 election, giving voters another opportunity to decide how HISD will pay its Recapture obligation.

The Recapture process requires “property wealthy” districts that exceed a wealth per student set by the Texas Legislature to send a portion of their local property taxes to the state. Recapture is part of the state’s school finance system and is more commonly known as Robin Hood.

The district created a website with information on Recapture and detachment at HoustonISD.org/Recapture.