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.
With a vote of 26-2, the Texas Senate approved their version of House Bill 3 which includes an increase in student funding, a prioritized $5000 raise for teachers and librarians, full-day pre-K for low-income students, and lower tax bills. It also includes money that would give bonuses to schools based on third-grade test scores as well as merit pay for “top-rated” teachers.
Initially, the Senate had included a plan for tax relief by increasing the state sales tax by 1 percentage point; however, the idea was an area of concern from lawmakers in both houses and in both parties. This was stripped from the bill, and a Tax Reduction and Excellence in Education Fund has been proposed as a means of getting $3 billion from various sources.
Before the bill is actually signed into law, the House and Senate will have to negotiate the differences in the bill.
For more information:
- Texas Senate approves school finance reform bill but opts not to fund it with a sales tax hike
- In a surprising turn, Texas House opts to delay consideration of sales tax swap legislation until 2021
- Senate Passes School Finance Bill on a Vote of 26-2
Make sure to see the Klein Leadership Coalition Website for additional resources.