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Newsletter: A Better System for Students and Taxpayers

Last week, a pair of House committees spent two full days reviewing and discussing possible improvements to our education funding system, and their work will prove very valuable when the full Legislature meets next year.

As you may recall, the Texas Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the state's school funding system meets the bare standards of the Texas Constitution. But the Court also said that there is plenty of room for improvement. And the reality is that the problems in the system are only going to get worse if they're ignored. That's why we in the Texas House have stayed focused on improving education funding.

One of my top concerns is keeping more local dollars in local schools. Our complex school funding system requires some school districts to share a portion of their local revenue with other districts. This is often referred to as the "Robin Hood" aspect of our school finance system, and it helps ensure that students have access to a quality education no matter where they live. The problem is that more and more school districts are having to share their revenue, and that's one sign of an overall system in need of reform.

Last week, members of the House Appropriations and Public Education Committees listened to two days' worth of testimony from educators, parents, employers and other experts about better ways to distribute and manage public education resources. This conversation will continue in the months ahead and during the legislative session that begins in January. School finance is a notoriously difficult and complex issue to address, especially in the absence of a court order. But there is a growing consensus in the Texas House that we can do better.

In a recent speech to the Dallas Regional Chamber, I discussed the need to improve our education funding system. To watch that portion of my speech, please click here.

Providing all children with a quality education is among the state's top responsibilities. The Texas House takes that responsibility seriously and will continue working to deliver a better funding system for students and taxpayers.