AVAILABLE SCHOOL FUND. The Available School Fund is made up of the money set aside by the state from current or annual revenues for the support of the public school system. As early as 1883 a maximum twenty-cent state ad valorem school tax was adopted to maintain such a fund. There are two major revenue sources for the fund: earnings from the Permanent School Fund and 25 percent of fuel tax receipts. The fund does not receive annual appropriations by the legislature from the general revenue fund. It is prorated to school districts according to scholastic population. In 1968 a constitutional amendment passed that called for the elimination of the state ad valorem tax over a period of several years; by 1975 this had been accomplished. In 1950–51 the Available School Fund contained $95,225,919. Since then the income of the state fund has increased significantly with a resultant increase in the rate per student distributed to public schools. In the 1969–70 fiscal year the Available School Fund disbursed $288,059,478.32; this amounted to a payment rate per student of $117.65. In 1994 the Legislative Budget Board estimated that the fund amounted to $1.3 billion. It was projected that the fund would distribute $350 per pupil during the 1994–95 school year. The fund also devotes annual revenue to textbook purchases. See also FOUNDATION SCHOOL PROGRAM FUND, LAND APPROPRIATIONS FOR EDUCATION.

Henry H. Goodman, The Appropriation and Distribution of School Funds in Texas (Austin, 1922). Roswell W. Rogers, The Texas School Funds (Chicago, 1911). Texas Almanac, 1994–95.

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Handbook of Texas Online, "AVAILABLE SCHOOL FUND," accessed July 22, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/khakg.

Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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