The Senate Finance Committee adopted their recommendations for Public Education in Article III this morning. As reported last week, the Finance Committee added $1.5 billion above the amount proposed in the base bill. Out of that $1.5 billion, $1.375 billion flows through the school finance formulas through the restoration of the Regular Program Adjustment Factor (RPAF) at a cost of $1 billion and then the remainder serves to increase the Basic Allotment to $4,799 in FY2014 and to $4,874 in FY2015. These increases to the BA result in a $200 million reduction in ASATR in FY2014, and a reduction in ASATR in FY2015 of $373 million. No districts experience a net loss of revenue under this model. The average gain is $83 per WADA in FY2014 and $135 per WADA in FY2015, while the average increase per WADA for districts subject to recapture is $27 per WADA in FY2014 and $18 per WADA in FY2015.
In addition to flowing $1.375 billion through the formulas, the remainder of the $1.5 billion approved by the Senate Finance Committee included items such as:
- $40 million for Pre-K expansion (provided in a prorated amount per eligible ADA in all districts, rather than through a grant)
- $24 million for Project Share professional development
- $14 million increase for the Student Success Initiative
- $34 million to extend the CTE weight to grades 7-8 for certain courses
Our friends at Moak Casey & Associates were kind enough to provide TXSC with runs for our districts showing an estimate of the per-district impact of the additional $1.375 billion on an ADA basis. It should be understood that these numbers represent Moak Casey & Associates’ best attempt to give districts an idea of the impact, and they will be the first to say that while their numbers are good, they may not be perfect. If you have questions about your district’s numbers, please feel free to contact me or Tracey Roach so that we may answer any questions or concerns you may have.
While these numbers don’t even come close to replacing what was lost during the last legislative session, this is but one step in a much longer process. The Coalition has asked lawmakers to restore, protect, and invest. The adopted recommendations represent a restoration of the RPAF and a protection against further cuts for districts as reliance on ASATR continues to decline. The next steps will hopefully involve investment.