The state's largest public school district, Houston ISD, is scheduled to make a recapture (Robin Hood) payment this year of more than $160 million. But voters in that district elected to not make the payment in hopes of forcing the Texas Legislature to fix the problem. It's a significant gamble -- the law authorizes the commissioner of education to "detach" the highest value property and assign it to another district who will tax at its rate, likely a higher rate than HISD. The property detachment process has never been used before -- other Robin Hood districts, such as Spring Branch ISD, have authorized the payment of recapture.

The Houston Chronicle, which pushed for HISD voters to reject authorizing recapture payments, published an editorial after last week's week "no" vote restating its position but recognizing that the Legislature likely won't take up systemic reform when it convenes in January. But the Chronicle recognized some interim steps that would provide some relief to Robin Hood districts, including Spring Branch ISD.

School funding

There are other ways to help poor school districts besides crippling Houston ISD


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