Austin, Texas- This afternoon State Rep. Julie Johnson, co-author of House Bill 3, comprehensive legislation to reform the public school finance system in Texas, voted yes on the final funding package recommended by the House.
House Bill 3 (also referred to as the "Texas Plan") invests $9 billion above enrollment growth and current law entitlement toward student achievement, teacher quality and property tax reform, and will put more money into Texas classrooms than ever before. “Aside from voting for the overall package, I was thrilled to vote for the amendment offered by Representative Chris Turner that will guarantee $2.4 billion for pay raises for every full-time teacher and support staff across Texas,” said Rep. Johnson. “Additionally, I joined Representative John Turner to amend HB 3 and require school districts that are Gifted and Talented certified to report to the Texas Education Agency any funds spent on their GT programs.”
“Today, Democratic and Republican House members joined together to pass HB 3,” said Rep. Johnson. “The Texas House made it our mission at the start of the session to work together to properly fund our public schools and give Texas families much needed property tax relief. With more than a month remaining in the session, we’ve laid out the first major rewrite of our public school finance system by the Texas House. The budget devotes $2.7 billion towards property tax reduction, permanently lowers school district property tax rates, and empowers local school districts to put more money into classrooms where resources are needed most.”
Rep. Johnson also noted that the Texas Plan benefits school districts in District 115, specifically Coppell and Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISDs, who currently pay recapture -- or "Robin Hood" -- payments because House Bill 3 gives districts the ability to earn and keep more money from local property taxes. HB 3 reduces recapture payments by more than 38 percent this biennium, dropping from $7.7 billion to $4.7 billion. Through House Bill 3 and House Bill 1, the Texas Legislature is lowering school district property tax rates by an average of 5.5% statewide – therefore every property owner in Texas should see a reduction in their tax rates.
Highlights of House Bill 3:
• Invests in Texas students and teachers by adding approximately $9 billion in funding above enrollment growth and current law entitlement over the next two years;
• Empowers local school districts to put more money in their classrooms by raising the Basic Allotment from $5,140 to $6,030, an $890 increase per student;
• Reduces recapture from $7.7 billion to $4.7 billion for the biennium, a $3 billion or 38% reduction;
• Establishes an early reading program that funds full-day, high quality Pre-K for low income students, setting the right foundation for students to be able to read at grade level by third grade;
• House Bill 3 makes school funding formulas more efficient and equitable. Rather than focusing on how much is being invested in districts and the education system as a whole, House Bill 3 focuses on how much we are investing in classrooms.
• Allocates resources to low-income students based on census blocks that are tiered according to economic disadvantage. House Bill 3 prioritizes students with the highest needs and provides more funding to schools with higher concentrations of economically disadvantaged students and generational poverty;
• Adds a reimbursement for the cost of transporting homeless students and CTE students to work-based learning sites;
• Creates a professional development grant program to train teachers in blended learning instruction so they can effectively combine e-learning and traditional classroom instruction;
• Dedicates more money for dual language immersion education, which has proven to be more effective in producing greater achievement levels for multilingual and native English speaking students;
• Establishes a grant program for districts to offer parents of economically disadvantaged students with learning disabilities in grades 3-8 access to additional services to help improve educational performance.
Contact: Amanda Foster