Protect Funding for Public Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a tremendous impact on our state and our schools. The state economy has been hit hard.
Last session, House Bill (HB) 3 added $6.5 billion to public schools, benefiting students and teachers by funding special education services, prekindergarten programs, educator salaries, and more. But a weakened economy could threaten continued HB 3 funding.
Public school students need your help! Tell your state lawmakers to keep the promise they made to public school students and educators by protecting public school funding.
- The state must maintain the promises made in HB 3. HB 3 passed in 2019 with broad bipartisan support. The $11.6 billion landmark school finance reform bill increased school funding, slowed the growth of property tax bills, and modernized the school finance system.
- School districts need consistent, full funding to provide for students. The state gave funding assurance for the first 18 weeks of the school year but has yet to commit for the full year. State leaders should not reduce funding for our students and should use historical attendance numbers to ensure that schools can continue paying teachers and providing educational programs both virtually and in-person during and after the pandemic. We should not let a short-term crisis affect the long-term success of our schools and students.
- The state must provide disaster support to help schools through the many issues caused by the pandemic. Texas public schools are on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. School employees not only educate more than 5.4 million Texas students, but they also provide for the physical and emotional well-being of those children. And they are doing so at great risk to themselves and their loved ones. The state must provide the appropriate short- and long-term support as schools navigate the ongoing pandemic and its aftermath.
Send a letter to your state lawmakers today, asking them to keep the promise they made to public school students and educators by protecting public school funding.
What's at stake for Texas public schools?
In 2019, the Texas Legislature passed a landmark school finance reform bill, House Bill 3 (HB 3), with broad bipartisan support. The $11.6 billion increased school funding while lowering property tax bills across much of the state, along with other much needed reforms.
Here is how some of that money is parsed out:
$4.5 billion in education reforms
- Basic allotment increased to more than $6,160 per student
- K-Grade 3 early education allotment for economically disadvantaged students and English language learners that can be used to fund full-day prekindergarten for eligible students
- State compensatory education funding that provides additional resources to children living in more severe poverty
- Increased funding for students with dyslexia, receiving special education services, and being served in residential treatment facilities
- Outcomes-based funding program for high school students
- Increased facilities funding
- Updated transportation funding ($1/mile)
- Professional development for early education teachers to get kids reading on grade level by third grade
$5 billion in property tax relief
- Lowers property tax rates by an average of 8 cents in 2020 and 13 cents in 2021
- 2.5 percent tax compression starting in 2021
$2 billion for educator compensation
- 30 percent of the basic allotment increase must be used to increase compensation for teachers, librarians, counselors, and nurses (with no provisions for equal or across-the-board increases)
- Recommendation to prioritize compensation for teachers with more than five years of experience
- Funding for incentive pay programs
- Funding for locally developed merit pay programs
Visit the Texas Plan website to learn more about HB 3.