Statement from TASB Spokesperson Dax González on House School Finance Reform Bill

For release: March 6, 2019
Contact: Dax Gonzalez, 512.789.4824, dax.gonzalez@tasb.org
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TASB strongly supports Chairman Dan Huberty’s efforts to invest more resources in our students while maintaining the flexibility for local school districts to direct those resources to the kids who need them most. The infusion of $9 billion of new funds into our public schools for the direct benefit of Texas students is unprecedented, recognizes the state’s lagging support over the past decade, and underscores the state’s investment in the future.

A preliminary review of the proposal indicates that it aligns with the goals of trustees across the state in that it would reduce local taxpayers’ share of public education spending, focus on early education to prepare all children to succeed, lower property tax rates, and reduce the recapture dollars districts pay to the state.

We agree that teachers are key to great education, and because of that belief, school districts spend, on average, about half of their operations budgets on teachers. Raising the basic allotment, which hasn’t been significantly increased in years, is the best way to equitably distribute funds for Texas students and teachers ensuring that they can be used in the most effective and sustainable way possible in each district classroom. This proposal acknowledges the diversity of this state by supporting districts large and small; located in urban, rural and suburban areas; and those with high- and low-property wealth.

None of this would be possible without the support of Speaker Dennis Bonnen and his willingness to listen to the needs of our very diverse and unique school districts across the state. TASB will continue to work with all interested stakeholders at the Capitol to develop the best plan for all students as we learn more about the details of the proposal.

TASB is a nonprofit association established in 1949 to serve local public school boards. School board members are the largest group of publicly elected officials in the state. The districts they represent serve about 5.4 million students.