The Texas Senate is seeking to provide taxpayers with additional property tax relief, but only on a temporary basis. The legislature must make sustainable investments in tax relief and in our schools.
Texas school districts must send nearly $3 billion in local taxpayer funding to the state by Sunday under the state’s school finance law — a record amount that puts a crushing burden on taxpayers throughout the state while taking needed dollars away from their local schools.
House Bill 1525 is billed as the “clean up” measure that addresses unintended consequences of school finance reforms passed in 2019. However, the Senate version of HB 1525 goes much further and could lead to funding reductions for many school districts. It would also severely limit districts’ ability to use federal education funds as intended.
The House Bill 3 school finance legislation passed in 2019 invested billions of new dollars in public education, but the new law’s changes to funding formulas left some districts with less funding. The Legislature put Formula Transition Grants in place to ensure districts received a minimum increase. FTGs make the law adopted in 2019 better than the law we had before; without it (or with it at a reduced amount), that isn’t the case.
Statement from Christy Rome, Executive Director of the Texas School Coalition, concerning federal education funding.
In simple terms, fund balance is the difference between assets and liabilities in a governmental fund as of the close of the fiscal year. School districts use their fund balances to responsibly manage cash flow — especially in districts that pay recapture and cannot lean on regular state funding.
Rather than trying to determine how to distribute federal dollars to the schools that need them, Texas is trying to withhold them. Some 40 states have started distributing dollars to their schools, but Texas has not.
An opinion editorial co-authored by Justin Henry, President of the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees and Tammy Richards, President of the Plano ISD Board of Trustees
Locally elected school boards should have the flexibility to make decisions that are best for their communities’ unique needs.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on public education in Texas, and it will take years to overcome that impact.