FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 03/06/2017
Huberty Files School Finance Reform Bill
AUSTIN – Texas House Public Education Committee Chairman Dan Huberty on Monday filed House Bill 21, which provides $1.6 billion in additional resources for education while making several improvements to the state’s school finance formulas.
When compared to what they are scheduled to receive under current law, more than 95 percent of Texas school districts receive additional per-student funding under House Bill 21. In addition, almost every charter school gets additional dollars. Funding for House Bill 21 is included in House Bill 1, the House’s proposed state budget for the next two years.
“We are putting more resources in the classroom and making needed reforms to our school finance formulas,” Chairman Huberty said. “By increasing state funding for schools, we can improve instruction and reduce the need for higher property taxes. This bill would keep more local tax dollars in local public schools.”
House Bill 21:
• Reduces the amount of money that local taxpayers would pay in Recapture by $163 million in 2018 and $192 million in 2019.
• Increases the Basic Allotment from $5,140 to $5,350.
• Creates new transportation funding at $125 per student funded through the Basic Allotment, which will benefit charters and allow districts that pay Recapture to fully access state transportation funding for the first time.
• Provides weighted funding for students with dyslexia.
• Provides a two-year hardship grant program to help districts affected by the expiration of Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction.
“This plan helps students across the board, including those who attend charter schools,” Chairman Huberty said. “We are beginning to fix flaws in our school finance system and helping schools meet the increasingly high demands that have been put on them.”
Last year, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the state’s school finance system was constitutional but deeply flawed. Following that ruling, House Speaker Joe Straus encouraged legislators to continue working on school finance reforms.
“Our school finance system needs a lot of work, and Chairman Huberty’s bill is a very good start,” Speaker Straus said. “We have the time and the resources to improve public education this year, and I want to thank Chairman Huberty for presenting a strong and bipartisan plan to address this priority.”
Contact: Casey Christman