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Summary: The School Land Board can currently use proceeds from mineral leases and royalties to acquire additional real property assets for the permanent school fund. The board’s assets have grown to billions of dollars and the State Board of Education permanent school fund’s assets have been successfully diversified and expanded. Given this growth, HB 3574 seeks to return the School Land Board to its historical role and limit the board’s purpose to providing revenue for public school operations.
Analysis: HB 3574 seeks to direct assets available to the School Land Board away from acquiring real estate and into funding public schools. This does not necessarily limit government because these funds will still be used for government operated schools, but directing assets to be spend on school operations at least aligns more with Texas’ Constitutional duty to provide an efficient system of public education than simply putting billions of dollars into real estate assets that limit the amount of property private citizens are able to purchase. HB 3574 can also make the market for real estate more free if the board is limited in the amount of land it can acquire, making more property available to private consumers. Support 3574.