This morning the Texas Senate passed out HB 21, the public school finance bill shortly after 1 a.m. Senate Education Chair Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, began the discussion citing multiple changes the substituted floor version has including an Educational Savings Account (ESA) for students with disabilities and adding $530 million toward public education. HB 21 as substituted on the Senate floor would also add language from several other bills, including:

  • HB 23 (Huberty) – relating to a grant program to fund innovative programs for public school students with autism.
  • SB 2144 (Taylor) – relating to the creation of a commission to recommend improvements to the public school finance system.
  • SB 1480 (Hughes) – relating to the guarantee of school district and charter district bonds by the permanent school fund.
  • HB 3438 (Koop) – Relating to the creation of a state financing program administered by the Texas Public Finance Authority to assist school districts with certain expenses; granting authority to issue bonds or other obligations
  • SB 1658 (Taylor) – Relating to the ownership, sale, lease, and disposition of property and management of assets of an open-enrollment charter school.
  • SB 2188 (Taylor) – Relating to the average daily attendance calculation for students over 18 years of age who are in an off home campus instructional arrangement.
  • SB 2143 (Taylor) – Relating to the basic allotment under the foundation school program.

HB 21 was passed out of the Senate as substituted with a total of 11 adopted floor amendments with 21 ayes 10 nays.  The bill will now head back to the House where they can move to concur or ask for a conference committee to work out the differences.