School Finance Reform Under Threat
The coronavirus has triggered a major economic downturn. Experts say the state budget will be hit hard. Recent school finance reforms could be in trouble during the next legislative session—and it could be deep trouble if Texas repeats the mistakes of the recent past.
Public school advocates like you need to speak up or see history repeat itself.
Send a letter to your lawmakers today, asking them to make protecting public education funding a top priority during the upcoming legislative session.
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.