Have your property taxes gone up? You’re not alone. That money goes to pay for things like local schools.
But, every year, property-rich districts in Texas are required to give up millions of their tax dollars. It’s because of a law called Robin Hood, a way for richer districts to financially support poorer ones.
Viewer Christine Pritchett, from Lewisville, wrote to us about Robin Hood asking, “…when this funding is taken – where does it go?”
Ok, let’s start with how much money is taken?
The 2016-17 is the most recent year of complete data from the Texas Education Agency. Here are some highlights:
- Wealthy districts paid in $1.725 billion
- Austin ISD paid in the most, $405 million
- Number two was Plano, at $105
- Also up there, Highland Park at $87 and Grapevine-Colleyville at $34
Where did that money go? Into the state’s general fund – run by the Texas Education Agency.
The general fund is the state’s primary, education bank account. So, the $1.725 billion Robin Hood dollars, get blended in with the different sources of money in the account.
The state says, once the money is mixed, it can no longer track Robin Hood dollars. So, the state knows where the money is coming from but can’t say — exactly — where it’s going to.
In other words, while poorer districts are getting the amounts that are owed to them, based on funding formulas, the state cannot specifically say how much of that is coming from Robin Hood.