Chairman Huberty Introduces HB 21 on School Finance
Huberty said that the bill reflects months of discussion aimed at creating a system that works better for students, that it would improve public education in Texas because it provides more resources for schools and distributes them in a smarter way, and that it would reduce the need for higher property taxes. Huberty noted that it is based on $1.6 billion in additional funding being allocated to public education and that it allows for nearly every school, including charter schools, to receive more funding.
HB 21 increases the basic allotment, modernizes transportation funding, and creates a new way to help students with dyslexia, Huberty explained. It also makes a staff salary allotment part of the basic allotment and includes a two-year hardship allotment for districts affected by the end of ASATR. (See an information sheet on HB 21 made available at the press conference.)
Huberty said that HB 21 already has broad bipartisan support and that the House Public Education Committee plans to listen, gather information, and get the bill to the House floor very soon. He also noted that the committee is committed to sending a school finance bill to the governor’s desk before the Legislature adjourns.
Huberty thanked his co-authors on the bill: Reps. Zerwas (chair of the House Appropriations Committee), Harold Dutton, Chris Turner, and Ken King. Huberty said that his hope is that “we have a very good dialogue and discussion” tomorrow on HB 21.
The House previously voted to suspend the posting rules to allow HB 21 to be considered, along with the bills on the previously posted agenda, by the House Public Education Committee Tuesday, March 7, at 12 p.m. or upon adjournment of the House in E2.036 of the Capitol Extension.