Texas Attorney General Opinion: KP-0097 Page: 2 of 5
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Commissioner Mike Morath - Page 2
suit or otherwise . . . ." TEX. EDUC. CODE 43.001(a)(2); see also TEX. CONST. art. VII, 2
(providing that all "funds, lands and other property heretofore set apart and appropriated for the
support of public schools . . . shall constitute a permanent school fund"). The term
"unappropriated" is undefined in chapter 43 or elsewhere in Texas statutes. Courts "often look to
dictionary definitions for the ordinary meaning" of a statute's undefined term. See Beeman v.
Livingston, 468 S.W.3d 534, 539 (Tex. 2015). The common meaning of the term "unappropriated"
is "not allocated, assigned, or taken into possession." NEW OXFORD AM. DICTIONARY 1878 (3rd
ed. 2010). Though no judicial opinion or attorney general opinion has defined "unappropriated"
as used in subsection 43.001(a)(2), an opinion from this office, considering the predecessor to
subsection 43.001(a)(2), said the statute was "evidence of a consistent State policy that lands not
designated to a specific agency should be deemed to belong to the Permanent School Fund." Tex.
Att'y Gen. Op. No. MW-18 (1979) at 2; see also Tex. Att'y Gen. Op. No. JM-347 (1985) at 2
(discussing various avenues by which the State may recover land). Given the term's ordinary
meaning and its lack of express treatment elsewhere in Texas jurisprudence, a court would likely
conclude that subsection 43.001(a)(2) refers to land not allocated, assigned, or taken into
possession, or otherwise set aside, by the Legislature for another purpose.
Section 12.128 of the Education Code provides that:
(a) Property purchased or leased with funds received by a charter
holder under Section 12.106 after September 1, 2001:
(1) is considered to be public property for all purposes under
(2) is property of this state held in trust by the charter holder for
the benefit of the students of the open-enrollment charter
(3) may be used only for a purpose for which a school district
may use school district property.
(c) The commissioner shall:
(1) take possession and assume control of the property described
by Subsection (a) of an open-enrollment charter school that
ceases to operate; and
(2) supervise the disposition of the property in accordance with
TEX. EDUC. CODE 12.128(a), (c). Subsection 12.128(c)'s plain language directs the
Commissioner of Education ("Commissioner") to take possession and assume control of specified
property of an open-enrollment charter school that has ceased to operate. See id. 12.128(c); Ross
v. St. Luke 's Episcopal Hosp., 462 S.W.3d 496, 501 (Tex. 2015) ("In determining [legislative] intent
Here’s what’s next.
This text can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Text.
Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: KP-0097, text, June 20, 2016; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth1051197/m1/2/: accessed May 24, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.