UnRAPPed | Basic Allotment
LISD believes in the importance of all stakeholders understanding the basics of how our district receives its funds, and where the funds are being allocated once they are collected. School finance is a complicated topic, but we’ve broken down a few important topics to give the community a snapshot of how public school funding works in Texas. In LISD, we advocate for as much of the taxpayer dollars as possible to remain in our district where they benefit the communities we serve.
The Basic Allotment is a per-student funding amount set by our legislators and serves as the primary building block of our school finance formulas. It is a completely arbitrary number created by lawmakers and is not based on identifiable costs, nor is it adjusted regularly. It ultimately determines a school district’s entitlement based on the number of students it serves, or how much money the state “allows” us to collect per student through property taxes.
In property-wealthy school districts, such as Lewisville ISD, the amount of property taxes collected exceeds student entitlement. Those excess funds are paid back to the state in the form of recapture. In non-recapture school districts, property taxes do not cover the student entitlement; therefore, the state makes up the difference.
On average it costs approximately $10,000 to educate a student in Texas, while the basic allotment districts receive per student has stagnated at $6,160… and the gap continues to widen.
After the legislature took no action to adjust the basic allotment in 2021, our schools have now gone four years amidst soaring inflation rates with no increase. If the Legislature adjusted the basic allotment for inflation annually, using the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index, the basic allotment per student would have been $7,075 for 2022.
For every $100 added to the basic allotment, our district’s recapture payment would be reduced by nearly $6 million. In LISD, we are not advocating for a complete elimination of recapture, rather an increase in the basic allotment to benefit ALL Texas public schools.
And that’s Basic Allotment, unRAPPed!