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Report: Oil, gas helps fund Texas schools

A report by North Texans for Natural Gas explains how the oil and natural gas industry contributes more than $4 billion per year to the Texas education system.

Texas schools benefit from oil and gas royalties that are paid into the state’s Permanent School Fund and the Permanent University Fund. Local independent school districts also benefit from property taxes paid by the oil and natural gas industry.

The report shows oil and gas revenue deposited $676 million into the Permanent School Fund in 2014. Tax revenues also added $1 billion to the Foundation School Fund.

Texas universities also benefit from oil and gas revenues. The Permanent University Fund was established in 1923 when 2.1 million acres of land was set aside to help pay for higher education. Since 1923, royalties from oil and natural gas have added billions of dollars to the fund.

In 2014, those royalties generated $1 billion for the Permanent University Fund.

According to the report, oil and natural gas production generated over $1.5 billion in property tax revenue for Texas schools in 2014. For more than 100 school districts, this revenue accounts for more than half of the total tax base.

Several companies have also partnered with local high schools to create programs that train students interested in entering the oil and gas field.

Midland Independent School District launched the Petroleum Academy this fall. The program offers information about the oil and natural gas industry to approximately 110 students from Lee and Midland freshman high schools. The program teaches students transferable skills they can use once they graduate high school.

North Texas for Natural Gas is a grassroots organization designed to give supporters of natural gas a voice. The group works to inform audiences about the natural gas industry in Texas.

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