School finance is a topic of heavy discussion this session as state lawmakers debate how to fund public education in the face of a budget shortfall.  In this blog post, we've compiled a list of online resources that provide basic overviews of the school finance system in Texas.

School Finance 101: Funding of Texas Public Schools (Texas Education Agency, January 2011)

http://www.tea.state.tx.us/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=2147495107&libID=2147495104

An Introduction to School Finance in Texas (Texas Taxpayers and Research Association, January 2012)
http://www.ttara.org/files/document/file-4f1732f763446.pdf

Texas Tribune's School Finance Primer (March 31, 2011)
http://www.texastribune.org/texas-education/public-education/how-to-navigate-texas-school-finance-system/

School Daze (Texas Observer, March 30, 2011)
http://www.texasobserver.org/cover-story/school-daze

Texas Education Agency's page on School Finance

http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=6957&menu_id=645&menu_id2=789

Resources for the current Texas School Finance system (Texas Association of School Boards)

http://www.tasb.org/legislative/resources/current.aspx

Tracking the Education Dollar (Texas Association of School Boards, February 2011)
http://www.tasb.org/legislative/resources/documents/trackingtheeducationdollar2011.pdf

Education Finance (National Conference of State Legislatures)

http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?TabID=756&tabs=951,64,221#221

Funding
Funding for public education comes from a combination of state, local and federal revenue.  In the General Appropriations Act, state funding for public education is found in Article III, where it is nearly all appropriated to the Texas Education Agency (TEA).  Article III public education funding also is appropriated to the State Board for Educator Certification, the Texas School for the Deaf, the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the Teacher Retirement System.

See a discussion of proposed Article III public education funding (in CSHB 1):
CSHB 1: The House Appropriation Committee's proposed budget for Fiscal 2012-2013 (see Art. III: Public Education) :
http://www.hro.house.state.tx.us/pdf/focus/CSHB1_82.pdf

For TEA operating budgets, legislative appropriations requests, and other funding information, see:
http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index.aspx?id=2147495409&menu_id=645&menu_id2=789&cid=2147483657