Robin Hood plan

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Description:
The Robin Hood plan was a media nickname given to legislation enacted by the U.S. state of Texas in 1993 to provide court-mandated equitable school financing for all school districts in the state. Similar to the legend of Robin Hood, who "robbed from the rich and gave to the poor", the law "recaptured" property tax revenue from property-wealthy school districts and distributed those in property-poor districts, in an effort to equalize the financing of all districts throughout Texas.

Background

Article 7 of the Texas Constitution states, in part, ". . . it shall be DUTY OF THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools". However, the state of Texas only dedicates $.0025 portion of the state sales tax and the net proceeds from the Texas Lottery, as well as earnings from the Permanent School Fund, to primary and secondary education. Otherwise, state funding is determined by the Texas Legislature. The primary source of education funding in Texas remains with the school districts' ability to assess property taxes.

Initial lawsuit

In 1984, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed suit against state Commissioner of Education William Kirby on behalf of the Edgewood Independent School District in San Antonio, citing discrimination against students in poor school districts. The plaintiffs charged that the state's methods of...
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