School Finance Bill approved by Texas House

House bill 3 puts 9 billion additional dollars into Texas classrooms

School Finance Bill approved by Texas House

TEXAS, (KLTV) - After three hours of discussion, the Texas House passed a “comprehensive bill to reform the way schools are funded,” according to the Texas Tribune.

The bill will provide across-the-board pay raises for all full-time school employees who are not administrators, Tribune writer Aliyya Swaby said.

The bill now makes its way to the Senate.

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Public education reform was the main topic of discussion in Austin today as the house began voting on the school finance bill. The bill contains several ideas and is subject to more than 90 amendments, including some that would provide a pay raise for Texas teachers.

House Bill 3 puts an additional 9 $billion into Texas classrooms and has 92 original amendments, but most educators are hoping for one outcome.

"I’m hoping they fund public schools with the amount of money to be successful and that they give teachers a pay raise,” said Lindale ISD teacher Pydi Oliver.

One proposed idea is an across-the-board $3,000 to $5,000 pay raise for teachers, nurses, and librarians.

Merit-based pay was another idea surrounding this bill, an amendment that many educators are skeptical of.

“I think that there are just too many factors that go into a classroom,” said Tanya Fulton. “If you’re a principal, and you’re making eight different classes, I don’t think that you can make them equal.”

Tyler ISD superintendent Marty Crawford said merit-based pay is not for every district, but he thinks it’s something that Tyler ISD is interested in.

“Those that just focus on the STAAR test and not student growth can probably be concerned,” Crawford said. “But if you tailor that achievement pay to student growth that’s what we are about."

Crawford added that what will work best will vary by district. so he’s hoping for some local control.

“I think every community has its local needs,” he said. “What best to empower the local communities than for them to be able to determine what those needs are for their kids.”

HB 3 also seeks to lower school property tax rates statewide and establish a program to fund full-day pre-K for low-income students.

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