Over 30 years ago, the State adopted two formulas to recognize the additional cost to educate children in a small school district. These additional costs were determined to be significant enough that the State established a cost-based multiplier of .0004 for small school districts in Texas. Small schools were defined in statute as those with 1600 or fewer students.
For purely political reasons, a second formula was put into statute that penalized small school districts of less than 300 square miles by lessening their multiplier (.00025). There was no basis for establishing this second, punitive formula or funding these certain small districts at a lower level.
The most efficient solution to this decades-old inequity is to simply remove the punitive small schools formula and fund all small schools at the same state-recognized, cost-based level (.0004).
** UPDATE: We are proud to report the REPEAL of the secondary, punitive small district adjustment. Included as a portion of HB 21 that passed in the special session of the 85th Texas Legislature, was a six-year phase out of the secondary small district adjustment. Now, over 30 years later, ALL small districts in Texas will be funded at the same small district multiplier (of .0004). A much-needed change that will be more efficient in terms of determining district funding levels and will apply the same state-recognized multiplier to all small schools.
Thank you to the many districts who helped fight for this change... which impacts over half the districts in the state!
Resources For Texas' Small School Districts
- NEW! Interactive SDA Map
- NEW! SDA districts adopted resolutions list
- TARS SDA penalty resolution
- Equity Center SDA penalty resolution
- FY 16 SDA Report (Updated 10.10.2016)
- Excel Report with ATR (Updated 11.1.2016)
- Excel Report by House & Senate District (Updated 11.1.2016)
- Removing the Punitive Small Schools Formula - Talking Points
- Sample Op Ed
- Effects of Recession Still Felt in Rural Counties
- Righting the Wrong - PowerPoint Presentation
- Texas Small/Rural Schools and the Diseconomy of Scale