House passes legislation to reform school finance, property taxes
The Texas House of Representatives on April 3 approved much-anticipated legislation written to revise the state’s public school finance system. The vote was 148-1, and the bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
House Bill 3 would increase pay for public school classroom teachers, librarians and other full-time personnel and also would enable property tax relief. Primarily authored by House Education Committee Chair Dan Huberty, R-Houston, joint authors include Reps. Diego Bernal, D-San Antonio; John Zerwas, R-Richmond; Ken King, R-Canadian; and Alma Allen, D-Houston.
HB 3’s estimated net cost would be $9.5 billion, covering the fiscal biennium that ends Aug. 31, 2021. In addition to pay increases and incentives, HB 3 would reduce recapture and enable some $2.7 billion in property tax relief. The legislation, among its general provisions, changes the order in which the Foundation School Program is financed so that state-available school funds would be applied before locally generated property tax revenue.
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