The Texas House voted last week to approve three bills that will improve education and school accountability, addressing issues raised by educators and parents.
When the Texas Supreme Court ruled last year that our school finance system was constitutional, but deeply flawed, the Texas House pledged to continue working on the issue. We knew that Texas parents and taxpayers expect the Legislature to help schools provide a better education in a more efficient way.
Last week, the House acted on that pledge and overwhelmingly approved major school finance legislation in the form of House Bill 21. The legislation now moves to the Texas Senate for consideration.
The Texas House voted 134-16 Wednesday to approve House Bill 21. This legislation, authored by Public Education Committee Chairman Dan Huberty, would provide additional per-student funding for more than 95 percent of Texas school districts and almost every charter school. It would also reduce the amount of local tax dollars that school districts send to other parts of the state, and it would make needed upgrades to the formulas that distribute education dollars to school districts.
The Texas House gave overwhelming approval early Friday to a balanced two-year state budget proposal that reduces state spending by more than $1 billion but puts additional resources into public schools and child protection.
The House approved its version of Senate Bill 1 with a final vote of 131-16. The budget provides an additional $1.5 billion for public schools, $500 million to address a shortfall in the health care program for retired teachers, and an increase of more than $450 million to address crises in Child Protective Services and foster care. It also puts more resources toward mental health services and Texas Grant scholarships, and it protects voter-approved funding for transportation improvements.
This week, the Texas House is scheduled to vote on a state budget for the next two years. The budget that the House Appropriations Committee approved is a balanced plan that reduces overall state spending by more than $1 billion. Most importantly, this budget takes into account a growing population and a slowed economy without raising taxes.