School Finance

HB 3 (Huberty/Taylor), the school finance bill will allocate in funding $11.6 billion. $6.55 billion will go to public education and $5.05 billion will go toward tax compression. The state share of educational funding will increase from 38% to 45%. Recapture is reduced while lowering property tax rates by 8 cents statewide.

  • The bill will provide $12 million/biennium for blended learning instruction grants, $100 million/year for New Instructional Facilities Allotment, $452 million/biennium for College, Career & Military readiness bonuses for outcomes and transportation will be funded at $1 per mile reimbursement. The bill will also create a SPED advisory committee. Additionally, the availability of CTE and technical application courses is expanded.
  • Basic allotment/Weights
    • The basic allotment is $6,160. The following would be repealed and added to the basic allotment: Gifted and Talented, Cost of Education Index (CEI), staff supplement, and high school allotment. Language in the bill also creates a study on geographical and regional costs differences (CEI). If the state lowers the basic allotment, the district is permitted to raise taxes to address.
    • Mainstream Weight of 1.15
    • Dyslexia Weight of 0.10
    • Dual Language Weights of 0.15/0.05
    • Fast Growth Allotment (0.04 weight)
  • Tax
    • Current year values would be used. There would be a 2.5% hybrid statewide/local tax compression starting in the second year. Instead of language that sets a hard tax cap of $1.17, language sets up a compression rate plus .17 cents. If the state lowers the basic allotment, the district is permitted to raise taxes to address. Districts would be required to complete an efficiency audit before going to voter to increase taxes.
  • Pre-K
    • Fully funds high-quality Pre-K for students most in need. Districts are required to solicit partnerships with local providers before construction of new Pre-K facilities.
  • Pay Raise
    • The bill has language that would allow for an average increase of $4000 for teachers, librarians, counselors and nurses, prioritizing veteran teachers. It also addresses the ability for districts to have a merit/incentive pay targeting high needs and rural campuses but without any ties into STAAR.
  • TREE
    • An adopted amendment proposed by Sen. Watson when HB 3 was on the Senate floor created a “Tax Reduction and Excellence in Education Fund” (TREE). The details, previously hammered out by a Senate Finance work group, would gather $3 billion from three sources to address financing HB 3, contingent on the passage of other bills relating to severance tax, online sales tax, and an amount that exceeds $300 million of the money distributed in the Available School Fund (ASF).  This language was kept in HB 3 conference committee report and includes:


HB 3906 (Huberty/Taylor) Relating to the adoption and administration of assessment instruments used to assess the performance of public-school students was sent to the Governor on 5/29. When Chair Huberty laid out the conference committee report he stated the bill is designed to reduce stress and concerns of teaching to the test. The bill will break the STAAR exam up so that it can be administered in multiple parts over more than one day, eliminates multiple hours of testing, begins a 5 year transition to an online test administration, and creates a pilot to replace current STAAR.

Pathways/Dual Credit

SB 25 (West/Turner) Relating to measures to facilitate the transfer, academic progress, and timely graduation of students in public higher education was sent to the Governor on 5/25. The bill would decrease from 45 to 30 the minimum number of semester credit hours that would trigger requirements for a student enrolled in an associate or bachelor’s degree program at a public higher education institution to file a degree plan. Certain students enrolled in a dual credit course at an institution would have to file a degree plan not later than the end of the second regular semester or term immediately following the semester or term in which the student earned a total of 15 or more semester credit hours of dual credit. The bill would also define “articulation agreement” as a formal written agreement between a lower-division institution and a general academic teaching institution identifying courses offered by the lower-division institution that must be accepted for credit toward specific course requirements at the general academic teaching institution.


HB 4310 (Dutton/Hughes) Relating to teacher instructional time was sent to the Governor on 5/29. The bill incorporates into statute a version of regulatory protections for teacher discretion. The bill also prevents a school district from penalizing a teacher for not following a designated scope and sequence for essential knowledge and skills if the teacher determines that more time is needed to cover the material.


HB 76 (Huberty/Alvarado) Relating to cardiac assessments of high school participants in extracurricular athletic activities sponsored or sanctioned by the University Interscholastic League was sent to the Governor on 5/29. The bill requires public school districts to provide certain information regarding cardiac assessments to high school students participating in extracurricular athletic activities sponsored or sanctioned by the University Interscholastic League (UIL) and to provide notification of the option for the student to request the administration of an electrocardiogram.