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Education Report: Fracking funds Texas schools

Report: Fracking funds Texas schools

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A newly released report from North Texans for Natural Gas credits oil and natural gas development for contributing more than $4 billion per year to the Texas education system.

North Texans for Natural Gas, a grassroots organization whose stated goal is to give a voice to those who support natural gas, released its findings this week. They examine contributions at the independent school district level, with a district-by-district look at how tax revenue from energy production impacts local schools statewide.

Findings from the report include:

·         Oil and natural gas production, known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” generated more than $1.5 billion in property tax revenue for Texas schools in the 2014 financial year.

·         The Permanent School Fund, a state education endowment that supports K-12 public schools, receives more than a half a billion dollars annually ($676 million in 2014) from oil and natural gas revenues.

·         In the 2015 fiscal year, the Foundation School Fund – the primary means of delivering state funds to school districts – received more othan $1 billion in revenue from oil and natural gas production taxes.

·         About 230 independent school districts in the state have oil and natural gas revenues that exceed $1 million.

·         The Permanent University Fund, an endowment that supports the University of Texas and Texas A&M University systems through oil and natural gas royalties on certain state-owned lands, is currently valued at $21.8 billion.

“This report helps to quantify how big of a role oil and natural gas production plays in educating and preparing Texas students to enter the workforce,” said Steve Everley, spokesman for North Texans for Natural Gas, commenting in a news release.

“Many people know that tax revenue from oil and gas helps fund schools and colleges all across the state, but it’s important that people know just how significant that contribution is – not just statewide, but also in each parent’s school district,” Everley said.

More information about North Texans for Natural Gas and the study is available at www.NorthTexansforNaturalGas.com.

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