Earlier this week, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus issued two new interim charges to both the House Appropriations Committee and the House Public Education Committee. These charges call for the committees to study two school finance topics of great importance: Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction (ASATR) and the increasing reliance on recapture.

In his news release, Speaker Straus said “Ignoring some of the problems in our current system will only make them worse. School finance reform never comes quickly or easily, which is why this work needs to continue sooner rather than later.”

The new charges are as follows:

  • Current law requires the elimination on September 1, 2017, of Additional State Aid for Tax Relief (ASATR), which was intended to offset the cost of tax-rate compressions enacted in 2006. Review how this loss of funding would impact school districts.
  • Study the use of local property taxes to fund public education and its effects on educational quality and on Texas taxpayers. Specifically, recommend ways to reverse the increasing reliance on recapture payments to fund public education statewide.

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