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House Public Education Committee Votes Out HBs 21-23, Hears More School Finance Bills

07.25.2017 — On Tuesday, the House Public Education Committee voted out several bills related to school funding, sending them to the full House for consideration:

  • CSHB 21, Chairman Huberty's school finance bill, which was laid out in committee on Monday was voted out of committee with a vote of 10-1 (Rep. Morgan Meyer voting against). Early on Tuesday, Huberty said he had heard the concerns expressed in testimony about the provision of the bill that would provide $25 million in charter school facility funding (that would not have to be spent on facilities) and mentioned restricting it to charter schools with a special needs/dropout recovery focus. He said there was also concern about the amount of the basic allotment and the hold harmless hardship portion. Huberty said a new “glide path plan” was worked out Monday night for districts affected by the hold harmless, similar to ASATR hardship plan with a “tiered step down.” He also said that time was short and the committee needed to get the bill to the House floor as soon as possible, so the committee would go ahead and vote HB 21 out and work out any issues through the floor amendment process.

  • HB 22 by Rep. Ken King was also voted out of committee with a vote of 10-0. The bill, on which testimony was heard Tuesday morning, would reinstate and continue ASATR through fiscal year 2019. The bill would make districts receiving less than 4 percent of total M&O revenue from ASATR ineligible for the additional aid. It would also prevent districts that receive no ASATR funding for fiscal years 2017 and later from requalifying for ASATR in a subsequent year. The bill would provide continuation of the percentage adopted under reinstated 42.2516(i) at the FY17 level of 0.9263.

  • HB 23, also by Huberty, which was heard in committee on Monday, would create a program to provide grants for innovative services to students with autism. It was voted out of committee unanimously.

See video of the committee's vote. (07/25/17, 10:49 a.m.)

On Tuesday morning, the committee heard testimony on the following bills, leaving them pending:

  • HB 98 (Bernal) would create a new Foundation School Program statutory entitlement called the Mentor Program Allotment and authorize the commissioner of education to establish a formula determining the entitlement for each participating school district. The bill would repeal the existing mentor stipend grant program in Education Code Chapter 21.

  • HB 140 (Giddings) would authorize a school district to include a full day of attendance for each pre-K student who attends a full-day pre-K program offered by the district, provided that the student is eligible for pre-K, the district does not charge tuition, and the program complies with the high-quality requirements specified in state law.

  • HB 178 (Cortez) would extend weighted funding provided through the Foundation School Program career and technology allotment to the participation of grade 8 students in eligible CTE courses.

  • HB 248 (Springer) would provide additional state aid to ASATR districts that received additional state aid in the 2016-17 school year and operated a campus during the preceding school year in a county in which no other school district operated a campus during that school year. The additional state aid that would be provided under the bill would be equal to the state aid that would have been provided for the current school year.

  • HB 256 (Bernal) would require the Legislative Budget Board to submit to the commissioner of education and the Legislature a report on the LBB's recommendations regarding the equalized funding elements necessary to enable each student to achieve satisfactory performance on each assessment instrument required under Section 39.023 of the Education Code for each fiscal year of the next state fiscal biennium.

See video of the testimony on these bills. (07/25/17, 8:04 a.m.)

The committee will meet again on Tuesday, August 1.