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Both House and Senate Discuss Public Ed Funding February 9-11

The Texas Senate Finance Committee and House Appropriations Committee heard recommendations on public education and TRS funding from the Legislative Budget Board and TEA in meetings Monday-Wednesday this week. 

The LBB testified that the Senate’s proposed budget, SB 2, allows for general revenue spending of $33.6 billion for 2016-17, an increase of $2 billion from last biennium. However, the Senate budget also includes $3 billion for property tax relief.

Hutto ISD Superintendent Douglas Killian testified for TASA, saying if the Legislature cuts property taxes, state funding needs to be increased to compensate schools for that lost funding.

As SB 2 is currently written, the total for public education, including funding for non-FSP programs, is $35.6 billion. The LBB said that with Texas student enrollment growth expected to be 83,000 in 2016 and 85,000 in 2017, $2.5 billion more is needed.

Testifying before the House Appropriations Committee Tuesday, LBB staff said that under the House’s proposed budget, one-third of Texas school districts would fall below 2011 funding levels.