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Glossary

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Adequate Funding

"Adequate" is a comparative word. It has meaning only in context (i.e. adequate to accomplish what purpose?). The operative definition with respect to Texas public school funding is the amount of money schools would need to offer an “accredited” or basic program, or meet minimum state education requirements, with “adequate” being defined by the Texas Supreme Court in the West Orange Cove decision as the requirement that public education accomplish a general diffusion of knowledge.” The Court further added that “the word ‘adequate’ does not carry its broader dictionary meaning: “[c]ommensurate in fitness; equal or amounting to what is required; fully sufficient, suitable, or fitting.” However, a more realistic measure of public school finance adequacy is the one from the Florida State Constitution: “Adequate provision shall be made by law for a uniform,efficient, safe, secure, and high qualitysystem of free public schools that allows students to obtain a high quality education.”

Available School Fund (ASF)

Created by the Texas Constitution of 1876, the ASF is made up of interest and earnings generated by the state's Permanent School Fund, as well as constitutionally dedicated motor fuel taxes and other miscellaneous revenue sources. This fund can be used only to support public education and must be distributed based on a per capita basis to school districts. ASF provides funding for textbooks and technology. Prior to the creation of the Target Revenue System (HB 1 2006), the annual amount usually ranged from $250-$400/ADA, but it was deducted from the state aid that Chapter 42 districts received.  It was not deducted from state aid received by Chapter 41 districts, so they were the only districts to actually benefit from the distribution. For all districts currently under the Target Revenue/Hold-harmless (TRHH), ASF is used to fund some of the aid they receive, but districts that were Chapter 41 in their base year have the amount of ASF they received per student in that year included in their revenue target.

Average Daily Attendance (ADA)

A method of counting students used for providing state aid to school districts in Texas. Districts count students in attendance each day and average the attendance count over the school year. If a student misses 9 days during the 180-day school year, the district loses 5% of the funding a student with perfect attendance would generate. (Some states base funding on enrollment rather than attendance.)

Average Residential Value (ARV)

The portion of a district’s total taxable value that is residential

Basic Allotment

The initial starting number that, after adjustments for district and student cost differences, is used to calculate foundation school program (FSP) costs and state aid to school districts. In theory, it is the minimum cost of a basic education. It is currently the greater of $4,765 or an amount calculated by multiplying the state average wealth per pupil by an arbitrary number (currently 0.0165) set in statute. That number was set at the value that would produce a program that would cost the state the amount that legislative leaders were willing to appropriate for the FSP for the fiscal 2010-2011 biennium in 2009.  Unless the statute is changed, the basic allotment will revert to a fixed level of $4,765 in 2013.

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