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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Robin Hood’ challenged

The Texas Constitution guarantees all citizens an equal opportunity to receive a proper education. This guarantee is what led to the Texas Supreme Court decision in the Edgewood ISD v. Kirby case in 1989, and eventually to the implementation of Senate Bill 7, also known as the “Robin Hood” law, in 1993, according to the Center for Public Policy Priorities. The Robin Hood law allows the state to redistribute property tax revenues from wealthy school districts to poor ones.
The Robin Hood law has been challenged in the court system several times since its implementation, and has always been upheld, according to The Associated Press. Now it is being challenged by a coalition of wealthy school districts that claim the law violates the state constitution by creating a statewide property tax, an argument that has been struck down in the past.
While the state school funding formula is far from perfect and has caused budgetary problems for some wealthy school districts, it has worked for millions of Texas children, giving them educational resources ranging from computers to up-to-date textbooks, and should be kept in place until the legislature finds a better alternative.
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the law states that districts are classified as wealthy if the value of their tax rolls divided by the number of students enrolled is greater than $305,000. Any operating revenue that surpasses this threshold is recaptured by the state and redistributed to property-poor districts. The Austin American-Statesman reports that 118 districts are considered rich and, therefore, must transfer approximately $970 million to the other 916 districts that teach nearly 90 percent of the students in the state. This money makes up a mere 4 percent of the total $25.8 billion spent on education each year.
This system has caused some of the wealthy districts to cut back on extracurricular opportunities and to charge students certain “activity fees.” The frustration of wealthy districts forced to cut programs is understandable; however, the programs that are eliminated are programs that poorer districts could never have dreamed of having in the first place.
The real problem with state funding of education is that there is not enough. The state must come up with more ways to raise money for education instead of relying solely on property taxes, which have gone through the roof. Until that happens, this program is the only hope for many poor Texas schools.
The Robin Hood plan is not necessarily the best way to fund education; there may be better ways out there. However, another plan must be decided on before the current one is ousted.
It may be flawed, but at least it’s a system. Getting rid of Robin Hood without a clear alternative is simply dangerous.

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