• July 17, 2019

Gov. Greg Abbott signs $11.6 billion school finance measure into law - Odessa American: Education

e-Edition Subscribe

Gov. Greg Abbott signs $11.6 billion school finance measure into law

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 11:54 am

Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law one of lawmakers' biggest achievements this year, a massive overhaul of Texas' long-beleaguered school finance system.

Abbott put his signature on House Bill 3 during a triumphant ceremony Tuesday at Parmer Lane Elementary School in Austin. The governor was flanked by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and several lawmakers involved in the effort.

"You could not overstate the magnitude of the law that I'm about to sign because this is a monumental moment in public education history in the state of Texas," Abbott said.

The bill's signing represented a capstone to state leaders' laser-like focus on reforming school finance and property taxes since the beginning of the 2019 legislative session session. Abbott is set to sign the priority property tax legislation, Senate Bill 2, during a ceremony Wednesday at a burger joint in Austin that says it is struggling to keep up with rising property taxes.

The $11.6 billion school finance measure includes about $6.5 billion in new public education spending, plus about $5.1 billion devoted to lowering Texans’ property tax bills.

The spending will increase per-student base funding by about 20%. It includes money to give teachers raises, fund free full-day pre-K for eligible 4-year-olds and reduce the amount of money wealthy districts must spend to subsidize poor districts through the state’s recapture program known as “Robin Hood.”

It also, controversially, includes money for districts that want to start merit pay programs, giving bonuses of between $3,000 and $12,000 to their higher-rated teachers. And it provides money for high-needs and rural school districts that need help to incentivize teachers to work there.

Lawmakers have estimated that the bill will lower tax rates by an average of 8 cents per $100 valuation in 2020 and 13 cents in 2021. That would mean a tax cut of $200 for the owner of a $250,000 home in 2020 and $325 in 2021.

Matthew Watkins contributed reporting.

Read related Tribune coverage

The Texas Tribune

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Sunny
78°
Humidity: 66%
Winds: SSE at 13mph
Feels Like: 78°

Your Extended Forecast

Tomorrow

weather
High 98°/Low 75°
Times of sun and clouds. Highs in the upper 90s and lows in the mid 70s.

thursday

weather
High 100°/Low 75°
Plenty of sun. Highs 98 to 102F and lows in the mid 70s.

friday

weather
High 100°/Low 74°
Abundant sunshine. Highs 98 to 102F and lows in the mid 70s.
Online Features

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7670 to sign up today.