The Texas Education Agency announced July 20, 2012, that the State Board of Education approved a plan that will generate about $1.7 billion for Texas public schools during the next biennium.

The board approved a percentage distribution of the Permanent School Fund of 3.3 percent for fiscal years 2014 and 2015. This is expected to produce a payout of about $830 million each year that would be used to pay for instructional materials and general education expenses for the state’s public school students.

The $25 billion Permanent School Fund is the second-largest educational endowment in the country, behind only Harvard’s endowment.

UPDATE: A July 31 press release by SBOE District 9 member Thomas Ratliff with comments from SBOE District 15 member Bob Craig indicates that the recent SBOE action related to the PSF will increase funding for only 10 of the state’s “property wealthy” districts due to the structure of the school finance system.

Comptroller reports $5 billion in unanticipated revenue

On July 18, 2012, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Susan Combs released a report that shows the state will bring in about $5 billion more than expected in revenue from taxes and fees collected in the current two-year budget cycle.

The news comes as the state seeks $9.8 million in short-term loans needed largely to make payments due to school districts in fall 2012.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that lawmakers could use part of the unexpected revenue to pay Medicaid costs that must be paid next year rather than tap into the state's rainy day fund.

The Statesman quoted fiscal analyst Eva DeLuna Castro of the Center for Public Policy Priorities as saying that $5 billion is a conservative figure. Castro reportedly said that state revenue could swell with a rise in personal income in the state, if history is any indicator.