A district shall not lend its credit or gratuitously grant public money or things of value in aid of any individual, association, or corporation. Tex. Const. Art. III, Sec. 52; Brazoria County v. Perry, 537 S.W.2d 89 (Tex. Civ. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 1976, no writ)
A district shall not grant any extra compensation, fee, or allowance to a public officer, agent, servant, or contractor after service has been rendered or a contract entered into and performed in whole or in part. Nor shall a district pay or authorize the payment of any claim against the district under any agreement or contract made without authority of law. Tex. Const. Art. III, Sec. 53; Harlingen Indep. Sch. Dist. v. C.H. Page and Bro., 48 S.W.2d 983 (Comm. App. 1932)
The state and county available funds may be used only for the payment of teachers' and superintendents' salaries and interest on money borrowed on short time to pay those salaries that become due before school funds for the current year become available. Loans for the purpose of payment of teachers may not be paid out of funds other than those for the current year. Education Code 45.105(b)
Local funds from district taxes, tuition fees, other local sources, and state funds not designated for a specific purpose may be used for purposes listed above for state and county available funds and for purchasing appliances and supplies; paying insurance premiums; paying janitors and other employees; buying school sites; buying, building, repairing, and renting school buildings, including acquiring school buildings and sites by leasing through annual payments with an ultimate option to purchase [see CHG]; and for other purposes necessary in the conduct of the public schools determined by a board. Education Code 45.105(c)
Public funds of a district may not be spent in any manner other than as provided for in the budget adopted by the board, but the board may amend a budget or adopt a supplementary emergency budget to cover necessary unforeseen expenses. Education Code 44.006(a)
The fiscal year of a district begins on July 1 or September 1 of each year, as determined by the board. Education Code 44.0011
On or before the date set by the State Board of Education (currently August 20 [June 19 for a district with a fiscal year beginning July 1]), a superintendent shall prepare, or cause to be prepared, a proposed budget covering all estimated revenue and proposed expenditures of a district for the following fiscal year. The budget must be prepared according to generally accepted accounting principles, rules adopted by the State Board, and adopted policies of the board of trustees. Education Code 44.002; 19 TAC 109.1(a), .41
Funds for Accelerated Instruction
A district that is required to provide accelerated instruction under Education Code 29.081(b-1) [see EHBC] shall separately budget sufficient funds, including funds under Education Code 42.152, for that purpose. A district may not budget funds received under Education Code 42.152 for any other purpose until the district adopts a budget to support additional accelerated instruction. Education Code 29.081(b-2)
Public Notice Expenditures
The proposed budget of a district must include a line item indicating expenditures for notices required by law to be published in a newspaper by the district or a representative of the district that allows as clear a comparison as practicable between those expenditures in the proposed budget and actual expenditures for the same purpose in the preceding year. Local Gov't Code 140.0045
Public Meeting on Budget and Proposed Tax Rate
When the budget has been prepared, the board president shall call a board meeting for the purpose of adopting a budget for the succeeding fiscal year. Any taxpayer of a district may be present and participate in the meeting. Education Code 44.004(a), (f) [See CCG for provisions governing tax rate adoption.]
The meeting must comply with the notice requirements of the Open Meetings Act. Gov't Code 551.041, .043 [See BE]
The board president shall provide for publication of notice of the budget and proposed tax rate meeting in a daily, weekly, or biweekly newspaper published in a district. If no daily, weekly, or biweekly newspaper is published in a district, the president shall provide for publication of notice in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the district's central administrative office is located. The notice shall be published not earlier than the 30th day or later than the tenth day before the date of the hearing. Education Code 44.004(b)
Form of Notice
The notice of the public meeting to discuss and adopt the budget and the proposed tax rate must meet the size, format, and contents required by law. Education Code 44.004(c)-(c-1)
The notice is not valid if it does not substantially conform to the language and format prescribed by the comptroller. Education Code 44.004(d)
A person who owns taxable property in a district is entitled to an injunction restraining the collection of taxes by the district if the district has not complied with the notice requirements and the failure to comply was not in good faith. An action to enjoin the collection of taxes must be filed before the date the district delivers substantially all of its tax bills. Education Code 44.004(e)
Publication of Proposed Budget Summary
Concurrently with the publication of notice of the budget under Education Code 44.004, as described above, a district shall post a summary of the proposed budget on the school district's Internet website or, if the district has no Internet website, in the district's central administrative office.
The budget summary must include a comparison to the previous year's actual spending and information relating to per student and aggregate spending on:
- Instructional support;
- Central administration;
- District operations;
- Debt service; and
- Any other category designated by the commissioner.
Education Code 44.0041
Decrease in Debt Service Rate
If the interest and sinking fund rate calculated under Education Code 44.004(c)(5)(A)(ii)(b) decreases after the publication of the required notice, the board president is not required to publish another notice or call another meeting to discuss and adopt the budget and the proposed lower tax rate. Education Code 44.004(g-1)
The board, at the meeting called for that purpose, shall adopt a budget to cover all expenditures for the succeeding fiscal year. The budget must be adopted before the adoption of the tax rate for the tax year in which the fiscal year covered by the budget begins. Education Code 44.004(f)–(g)
Districts with July 1 Fiscal Year
A district with a fiscal year beginning July 1 may use the certified estimate of the taxable value of district property in preparing the published notice if the district does not receive the certified appraisal roll on or before June 7. A district that uses a certified estimate may adopt a budget at the public meeting designated in the published notice prepared using the estimate, but the district may not adopt a tax rate before the district receives the certified appraisal roll for the district. Education Code 44.004(h)–(i)
By April 30, the chief appraiser shall prepare and certify an estimate of the taxable value of school district property. Tax Code 26.01(e)
Budget Adoption After Tax Rate Adoption
Notwithstanding Education Code 44.004(g), (h), and (i), above, a district may adopt a budget after the district adopts a tax rate for the tax year in which the fiscal year covered by the budget begins if the district elects to adopt a tax rate before receiving the certified appraisal roll for the district as provided by Tax Code 26.05(g). If a district elects to adopt a tax rate before adopting a budget, the district must publish notice and hold a meeting for the purpose of discussing the proposed tax rate. Following adoption of the tax rate [see CCG], the district must publish notice and hold another public meeting before the district may adopt a budget. The comptroller shall prescribe the language and format to be used in the notices. The district may use the certified estimate of taxable value in preparing a notice under this provision. Education Code 44.004(j)
Publication of Adopted Budget
On final approval of the budget by the board, the district shall post on the district's Internet website a copy of the budget adopted by the board. The district's website must prominently display the electronic link to the adopted budget. A district shall maintain the adopted budget on the district's website until the third anniversary of the date the budget was adopted. Education Code 44.0051
The adopted budget must be filed with the Texas Education Agency on or before the date established in the Financial Accountability System Resource Guide. Education Code 44.005; 19 TAC 109.1(a)
Amendment of Approved Budget
The board may amend a budget or adopt a supplementary emergency budget to cover necessary unforeseen expenses. Any amendment or supplementary budget must be prepared and filed in accordance with State Board rules. Education Code 44.006
Failure to Comply with Budget Requirements
A board member who votes to approve any expenditure of school funds in excess of the item or items appropriated in the adopted budget or a supplementary or amended budget commits a misdemeanor offense. Education Code 44.052(c)
A district may donate funds or other property or service to the adjutant general's department, the Texas National Guard, or the Texas State Guard. Gov't Code 437.111(b), .252, .304(a)
Commitment of Current Revenue
A contract for the acquisition, including lease, of real or personal property is a commitment of a district's current revenue only, provided the contract contains either or both of the following provisions:
- Retains to a board the continuing right to terminate the contract at the expiration of each budget period during the term of the contract.
- Is conditioned on a best-efforts attempt by the board to obtain and appropriate funds for payment of the contract.
Local Gov't Code 271.903
Prohibited Uses of Resources
Improvements to Real Property
Except as provided below or by Education Code 45.109(a-1), (a-2), or (a-3) [see CX], the board may not enter into an agreement authorizing the use of school district employees, property, or resources for the provision of materials or labor for the design, construction, or renovation of improvements to real property not owned or leased by the district.
This section does not prohibit the board from entering into an agreement for the design, construction, or renovation of improvements to real property not owned or leased by the district if the improvements benefit real property owned or leased by the district. Benefits to real property owned or leased by the district include the design, construction, or renovation of highways, roads, streets, sidewalks, crosswalks, utilities, and drainage improvements that serve or benefit the real property owned or leased by the district.
Education Code 11.168
The board may not impose taxes; issue bonds; use or authorize the use of district employees; use or authorize the use of district property, money, or other resources; or acquire property for the design, construction, renovation, or operation of a hotel. The board may not enter into a lease, contract, or other agreement that obligates the board to engage in an activity prohibited by this provision or obligates the use of district employees or resources in a manner prohibited by this provision.
"Hotel" means a building in which members of the public obtain sleeping accommodations for consideration. The term includes a motel.
Education Code 11.178
A board may not use state or local funds or other resources of the district to electioneer for or against any candidate, measure, or political party. Education Code 11.169