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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 yet identified)
  • $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.

Listen to a live broadcast of the hearing