The 86th Texas Legislature will be in session from January 8 through May 27. It meets biennially, and the budget that the Texas Legislature sets is in place for two years.
The Texas House Public Education Committee unanimously signed off on House Bill 3 and has moved it forward to the full House for consideration. The $9 billion proposal for school finance and property tax reform was approved by the committee after removing a plan that included educator merit pay for districts who wanted to give extra money to “top-rated” teachers. After hearing concerns from teachers’ organizations, lawmakers removed language that may have been misconstrued as correlating merit pay with standardized testing scores.
Instead, the bill now includes a section that allows school districts to use the money in more flexible ways, such as paying teachers more to work in high-needs campuses or in subject areas with teacher shortages. Additionally, the bill would eliminate outdated funding formulas, expand CTE funding to sixth and seventh grades, increase funding for dual language programs, and more. The bill proposes to put $6 billion into public schools and $3 billion into property tax reform over the next two years.
For more information:
- Texas House panel advances school finance bill but removes merit pay provision
- $9B school finance bill advances to Texas House
Make sure to see the Klein Leadership Coalition Website for additional resources.