Landgraf takes aim at "Robin Hood"

AUSTIN — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) has filed legislation to repeal the "Robin Hood" public school finance scheme.

House Bill 712, authored by Landgraf, offers a full repeal of recapture provisions, otherwise known as "Robin Hood,” which send a portion of funds from so-called property wealthy school districts to other school districts across the state.

"Over the years, the Robin Hood system has placed a disproportionately large burden on taxpayers in the oil patch to fund public schools in other parts of Texas," Landgraf said.  “But our students and teachers here in the Permian Basin also pay a high price for this scheme.”

Tremendous growth in oil and gas production has led to many school districts in the Permian Basin to be deemed "property wealthy" and are under the undue burden of the Robin Hood law.

Most Permian Basin school districts are currently experiencing some of the highest population growth rates in the nation, leading to large classroom sizes and widespread teacher shortages. The result is that West Texas schools have money forced out of their budgets at a time when its needed most for their teachers and students. Landgraf’s bill would eliminate this objectionable practice.

"This new downside of recapture only adds to the argument that the state must repeal Robin Hood and replace it with a better plan to provide adequate funding for Texas public schools," Landgraf said.  "An increase in funding for each student in Texas is something that our state must do in order to prepare our students for the next generation of high-paying jobs that will allow Texas to remain prosperous."

The 86th Texas legislative session is underway and will run through May 27, 2019.