Fracking Funds Texas Schools

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Most if not all Texans know that oil and natural gas development is a key driver of the Lone Star State's economy. Oil and natural has support 41 percent of the economy in Texas, including more than two million jobs1. The recent boom in Texas Oil and natural has production, enable by technologies like hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") and horizontal drilling, has benefitted numerous sectors of the economy, from manufacturing on the Gulf Coast to farmers in West Texas. What is far less appreciated, however, is the impact that energy development has on education in Texas.

In this report, we examine the multiple ways in which oil and natural gas development benefits K-12 public schools and universities across the state. In total, the oil and natural gas industry contributes over $4 billions per year to the Texas Education System.2

Key Findings
Total value of Permanent School Fund: $34.5 billion
Amount deposited into Permanent School Fund in 2014 from oil and has revenue $676 million
Oil and gas production tax revenues added to Foundation School Fund: $1 billion
Total tax levy for Texas ISDs from oil and gas properties: $1.5 billion
Number of ISDs where oil and gas revenues exceeds $1 million: 230
Number of ISDs where oil and gas revenue accounts for at least one-quarter of tax base: 207
Number of ISDs where oil and has revenue accounts for over one-half of the tax base: 107
Amount added to the Permanent University Fund in 2014 from oil and gas revenue: $1 billion
Total value of Permanent University Fund in 2015: $21.8 billion

Public schools in Texas are financed through multiple state funds, many of which receive revenue from oil and natural gas production. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 the Foundation School Fun (the primary means of delivering state funds to school districts) received over $1 billion in revenue from occupation taxes3 on oil and natural gas products. The Permanent School Fund (a state education endowment that supports K-12 public schools) receives over half a billion dollars annually from oil and natural gas royalties and investments. in addition, hundreds of Independent School Districts (ISDs) in the state also earn property tax revenue from oil and natural gas-producing properties. This report takes a closer look at property tax data for all of the ISDs in Texas in State Fiscal Year 2014 and the tax levy coming from oil and natural gas production, although that is not its exclusive focus.