While lawmakers congratulate themselves on the passage of “school finance reform” House Bill 3, lauding the accomplishment of allegedly reducing Chapter 41 school finance recapture payments (known as “Robin Hood”) by 47 percent, Midland Independent School District is seeing a massive increase in their Robin Hood payment.

The Midland ISD approved their 2019-2020 operating budget of $389.2 million this past week, with roughly $118 million, or nearly one-third, that will be stripped away and redistributed to school districts around the state.

The recapture payment grew $54 million more than the previous year’s payment of nearly $65 million.

But the massive recapture payment didn’t leave the district cash-starved.

The district announced, at nearly the same time, plans to purchase the 116-acre Ranchland Hills Golf Course for $9.5 million with out-of-pocket funds. The district says they plan to use the golf course as a location to build new schools.

In addition, the school district approved spending $2.7 million for artificial turf at four junior high schools.

While this budget cycle has seen a decrease in the tax rate from the previous year, appraisal valuations have seen a strong increase, with mineral values increasing 84 percent.

The massive valuation increases have been attributed as a primary cause that triggered this year’s recapture payment.



Matt Stringer

Matthew Stringer is from Odessa, TX and serves as a West Texas Correspondent for Texas Scorecard.