FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 08/04/2017
Travis County Delegation Votes To Support Texas Public Schools
House Bill 21 would boost Texas Public Education by $1.8 billion
AUSTIN - Today, the Texas House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed House Bill 21 (H.B. 21) by Public Education Committee Chairman Dan Huberty, which increases per-pupil funding for the more than 5 million public school students in Texas.
H.B. 21 increases the basic allotment (minimum guaranteed funding) for all students, including those in Travis County school districts, from $5,140/student to $5,350/student. Members of the Travis County Delegation—including Rep. Dawnna Dukes, Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, Rep. Donna Howard, Rep. Celia Israel, and Rep. Gina Hinojosa—voted in favor of this legislation.
"We had a clear message from our constituents to support legislation that would address our dysfunctional school finance system," Rep. Howard said. "I commend Rep. Huberty for his efforts to begin that process and am hopeful that we will continue our work to ensure all Texas children have access to quality public education."
If H.B. 21 finally passes, districts across Texas would see additional money per pupil. This includes an additional $252 per for each Austin ISD student, $205 more per Pflugerville ISD student, and $130 more
for each Del Valle student.
"There are fifteen school districts in Travis County responsible for educating our diverse student population,” noted Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, “and each of them is unique. H.B. 21 helps us address the needs that our students are facing in their neighborhood schools. All Texas children deserve a fair shot in life, regardless of their zip code or financial means."
Rep. Hinojosa said she hoped that H.B. 21's estimated $12M reduction in recapture payments for Austin ISD would begin a larger conversation.
"For too long, we have placed the burden of funding our schools on the local property taxpayer," stated Rep. Hinojosa. "Although H.B. 21 doesn't solve our school finance problem, it is a good first step."
Contact: Max Lars