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.
The Texas House Public Education Committee voted Tuesday to advance House Bill 21, a major school finance proposal. The bill puts more dollars into the classroom, reduces Robin Hood by almost $400 million over two years and makes needed structural changes to the state’s school finance system.
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus authored a guest column in the Houston Chronicle on Wednesday that called for legislators to take a responsible approach to balancing the state budget, as opposed to only making deep spending cuts that would decimate higher education and leave retired teachers paying significantly more for health care.