Texas Donation of School District Property, Proposition 13 (2001)
The Texas Donation of School District Property Amendment, also known as Proposition 13, was on the November 6, 2001 ballot in Texas as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure provided for the legislature's authorization of school district boards of trustees to donate a defunct campus property for preservation purposes.
|Texas Proposition 13 (2001)|
Election results via: Legislative Reference Library of Texas
Text of measure
The ballot title voters saw on their ballot read as:
|“||The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to authorize the board of trustees of an independent school district to donate certain surplus district property of historical significance in order to preserve the property.||”|
The full text of the measure can be read here.
Proposition 13 added Section 4b to Article 7 of the Texas Constitution.
The state government provided an explanation of Proposition 13 which read as follows:
|“||There are a number of rural school districts in this state that own old
country school buildings, including one-room schoolhouses. In some cases, the use of the buildings for school purposes became unnecessary as a result of school district consolidation, and the buildings were donated to the school districts. Many of the buildings have never been used by the districts for educational purposes but have served instead as the meeting places for community clubs, which have dues-paying members, rent out the buildings for events such as weddings or reunions, and pay for building maintenance and insurance. Some of the buildings have historical markers. Under Section 11.154, Education Code, the board of trustees of an independent school district may, by resolution, authorize the sale of any property, other than minerals, held in trust for public school purposes. Section 45.082, Education Code, authorizes the board of trustees of a district to sell real property that the board has determined is not required for the current educational needs of the district and to issue revenue bonds payable from the proceeds of the sale. With that authorization, the board of trustees of a school district may sell historic school buildings and the real property on which the buildings are located without any assurance that the buildings will be preserved. However, under current law, a school district does not have authority to donate school buildings or the real property on which the buildings are located in order to preserve the buildings, and because of Section 52, Article III, Texas Constitution, the legislature may not grant that authority. Under that constitutional provision, unless a specified exception applies, the legislature may not authorize a political subdivision of the state, including a school district, to grant public money or a thing of value, such as a school building, “in aid of, or to any individual, association or corporation . . . .” 
Path to the ballot
- See also: Laws governing direct democracy in Texas
As laid out in Article 17 of the Texas Constitution, in order for a proposed constitutional amendment to be placed on the ballot, the Texas State Legislature must propose the amendment in a joint resolution of both the Texas State Senate and the Texas House of Representatives. The joint resolution can originate in either the House or the Senate. The resolution must be adopted by a vote of at least two-thirds of the membership of each house of the legislature. That amounts to a minimum of 100 votes in the House of Representatives and 21 votes in the Senate.
- Texas 2001 ballot measures
- 2001 ballot measures
- List of Texas ballot measures
- History of direct democracy in Texas
- Legislative Reference Library of Texas, "Constitutional amendment election dates," accessed January 14, 2015
- Texas Legislative Council, "Amendments to the Texas Constitution Since 1876," accessed January 14, 2015
- Texas Legislative Council, "Analyses of Proposed Constitutional Amendments: November 6, 2001, Election," September 2001
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
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