In Austin — the poster child for property tax recapture in Texas right now — the school district is telling taxpayers they’ll be sending $2.6 billion to the state over the next five years. That's inspiring some crazy ideas.
In a letter sent to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Thursday, nearly 1,500 local school superintendents and trustees urged the head of the Senate to support the House's primary piece of school finance legislation, House Bill 21.
An eye-opening proposal to kill the local school property tax in order to force Texas lawmakers to build a new school finance system won unanimous approval Thursday from the House's tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.
The House and the Senate are figuring out whether they can compromise on exactly how to put $212 million into an underfunded health insurance program for retired teachers. Teachers say they'll take their frustration to the polls.
The Texas House voted Tuesday to use $212 million from the Rainy Day Fund, a savings account largely fed by oil and gas production taxes, to decrease premiums and deductibles for retired teachers in the state-run health insurance program.
The Texas Senate passed a bill that would provide funding for teacher bonuses and retirement benefits, slashing a controversial provision that would require school districts to increase teacher salaries without additional state money.
The Texas Senate Finance Committee approved a bill Saturday that would put one-time influxes of money toward the Teacher Retirement System and teacher bonuses, and require districts to fund $1,000 in teacher pay raises.
The Texas Senate Education Committee passed a bill that would create a "private school choice" program to subsidize private school tuition for kids with special needs, and a bill to study the school finance system.
In what seems to be an overture to the House, Gov. Greg Abbott added two new education-related issues to his special session call Thursday: school finance reform and increased benefits for retired teachers.
Days before the special session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick rolled out a specific plan to give retired and long-term teachers up to $1,000 in additional bonuses, using money from the Texas Lottery over the long-term.