House Introduces HB 3 School Finance Bill Called "The Texas Plan"
03.05.2019 — In a press conference that included House Public Education Committee Chair Dan Huberty, Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen, and a coalition of members of the Texas House, Huberty introduced HB 3, the House's major school finance bill called the "Texas Plan," which:
- adds $9 billion in funding, which includes $6.3 billion for schools (above enrollment growth) and $2.7 billion for property tax relief
- raises the Basic Allotment from $5,140 to $6,030, an $890 increase per student
- lowers school property tax rates by 4 cents statewide and reduces recapture by more than 38 percent this biennium (would be approximately $4 billion rather than almost $8 billion)
- establishes a program to fund full-day pre-K for low-income students
- targets money to schools with higher concentrations of underserved students
- provides funding for extended-year summer instruction
- increases the minimum teacher salary schedule
- provides an additional $140 million for recruiting and retaining teachers
- creates a grant program for training teachers to effectively combine e-learning and traditional classroom instruction
- dedicates more money to research-based programs proven to advance student achievement, such as dual-language immersion, dyslexia identification, and expanded CTE programs
- creates a grant program that allows parents to utilize additional services for children with learning disabilities
- includes updates to the transportation funding model, creating a simplified $1 per mile reimbursement
- quadruples the allocation for building and equipping new facilities (NIFA) to $100 million per year
Also mentioned during the press conference was HB 9. Rep. Greg Bonnen, who filed the bill said it "works hand in hand" with HB 3 to invest in Texas teachers. The bill would make the TRS pension actuarily sound and provide a 13th check.
More than 80 members of the House have signed on to HB 3.
Huberty said he realizes there will be technical changes needed to the bill; he will lay out the bill in the House Public Education Committee next week.
Following the press conference, TASA issued the following statement on HB 3:
"HB 3, as currently filed, is landmark legislation that takes advantage of a once-in-a-generation-opportunity to dramatically improve funding for Texas public schools and transform the system. TASA greatly appreciates the leadership of Speaker Bonnen and Chairman Huberty for filing HB 3, as well as their commitment to public education and the 5.4 million students served in Texas public schools."