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.
Gov. Greg Abbott's special session agenda will include a call for a $1,000 pay raise for teachers. But he's not offering state money to pay for it — and he's not necessarily talking about giving every public school teacher a $1,000 check, either.
Superintendents in hundreds of Texas school districts rely on a pot of state funds that expires in September. Without drastic cost-saving measures, some districts are worried they may have to shut down.
The Texas Senate voted to approve a bill that would simplify funding formulas for public schools and let parents use state money to send their kids with disabilities to private schools or pay for homeschooling.
The Texas Senate will consider a version of the school finance bill, as soon as Sunday, that now includes an assortment of other House and Senate education bills — according to a notice Senate staffers received Saturday.
A Senate committee passed the House’s major school finance reform bill, after adding a controversial provision subsidizing private school tuition for special needs students — a move unlikely to go over well in the House.
Some Texas lawmakers want to kill the franchise tax that so many businesses hate. So far, so good. But it might leave a hole in the state's pocket when it inevitably comes time to rebalance the state's financing for public schools.
In a preliminary vote, the House approved Rep. Dan Huberty's bill to inject $1.6 billion into public schools and simplify complicated funding formulas. Legislators must still take a final vote on the bill.
The Senate Education Committee discussed a bill that would radically simplify the state's school finance formula, stripping it of some antiquated provisions. Parents and educators who testified wanted a few new provisions added in.
The Senate Education Committee is considering extending a decade-old state aid program for small, vulnerable school districts that depend on it for vital operations. The program is set to expire in September.
As lawmakers debate possible reforms to the school finance system this week, they might decide whether to continue offering extra funds to districts like Texas City ISD, which last year was forced to annex a struggling district next to it.