What Texas Gov. Greg Abbott didn't say in Tuesday's State of the State speech was important. School finance and property taxes were the big issues before the speech — and Abbott didn't stray from those subjects.
Property taxes and school finance — the top two priorities of state leaders this legislative session — aren't the sorts of issues that fire up political partisans. Sometimes, lawmakers are just trying to do some work.
In our new podcast, Point of Order, Evan Smith asks Dan Huberty, chairman of the House Public Education Committee, what it will take — and what it will cost — for state lawmakers to solve the state's most intractable problem.
Lawmakers are taking on school finance and property tax reform — gnarly policy issues that are expensive to tackle even if the state decides enough money is already being spent on public education in Texas.
The Texas Commission on Public School Finance — created last year to scrutinize the way the state funds K-12 education — finalized a report on Wednesday that includes more than 30 recommended improvements.
Changing the way public schools are funded is hard even when everyone agrees on the problem. But Texas lawmakers will first have to figure out if they're aiming to lower property taxes, increase spending on public education — or just change how the money is distributed.