Senate Finance Committee Meets Feb. 9 on Education Funding
The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to begin hearing testimony on the
state budget related to education funding on Feb. 9 at 11 a.m. and on
TRS on Feb. 11 at 9 a.m. The committee will discuss Article III, and
specifically TEA. SB 2, the Senate's version of the appropriations
bill, includes the following highlights:
$2.5 billion for enrollment growth
Increased funding for the Instructional Materials Allotment
$3 billion for property tax relief (method of relief not
$1 billion in cuts from the franchise tax
$200 million for districts below $1 when state compressed
the tax rate in 2006
The House released its budget proposal on Jan. 15, and it too includes
funding for public school enrollment growth to the tune of $2.5
billion. The House version does include $2.2 billion for the
Foundations School Program (FSP); however, the mechanism for how the
funds would be distributed was unclear. The budget rider did note that
the funding is to improve the equity, reduce recapture and increase the
state's share of FSP. The House is still awaiting committee
assignments, so no hearings have been scheduled yet.
Neither proposal changes per-pupil spending or includes any additional
funds for public school employee health insurance.
These initial budget proposals will serve as starting points in the
budget negotiation processes within both chambers.