The Texas General Land Office (GLO) said this week $1.26-billion generated from the state’s oil and gas activity will go to a fund to help support K-12 public education, according to a report in the San Antonio Express News. Texas draws this revenue from state-owned lands, which are leased to companies that conduct oil & gas operations on these properties.
Three primary areas (the Permian Basin, Barnett Shale and Eagle Ford Shale) are responsible for the recent oil & gas activity, but the funds won’t be re-injected wholly into communities in these development areas. The way it works is the Permanent School Fund, currently valued at $34-billion, generates interest, and only the interest is allowed to be distributed to schools. According to the Texas GLO website, funds are doled out by the State Board of Education on a per-pupil basis across the state. Many Eagle Ford area school districts have benefited more directly from income drawn from other sources of revenue, including state tax revenue and municipal property taxes.
The problem several school districts in the Eagle Ford region are facing isn’t necessarily a lack of state or local funds, but overcrowding, as workers chasing Eagle Ford oil jobs, along with their families, add to the population of cities and towns in the region. Another issue un-related to schools, and perhaps a more concerning one for many locals in certain areas of the Eagle Ford region, is a lack of funding from the state for adequate road repairs.
Ultimately, the modern Texas oil boom has brought the entire state of Texas many good things, but all of it hasn’t been good, and sometimes for local communities feeling the greatest impact of the boom, it hasn’t always been fair. As with most things in life, people learn to take the good with the bad.
Read more at expressnews.com