AUSTIN, TEXAS– Rep. Eric Johnson voted Wednesday for House Bill 3, the $9 billion, bipartisan school finance proposal that puts more dollars into schools, makes a major investment in prekindergarten and keeps more local revenue in Dallas ISD.
“This bill reflects many of the priorities I have championed for years in the Texas House, including more funding for students, pay raises for teachers and an expansion of full-day prekindergarten,” said Rep. Johnson, Dallas. “This bill provides a long-overdue increase in state funding for public education, which is our most important priority. It also begins to address the root cause of higher property taxes, which is a shortage of state education funding.”
Rep. Johnson continued, “We have a long way to go in this legislative session and in the years to come to give our students the school finance system they need and deserve. But this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction. I’m proud to be part of the bipartisan coalition supporting this investment in our students and our future.”
According to Legislative Budget Board projections based on the bill as it came before the House on Wednesday, House Bill 3 provides about $114 million in additional funding for Dallas ISD. It also reduces the amount of money that the state takes away from Dallas ISD taxpayers through Robin Hood by about $175 million.
The bill also establishes an early reading program that funds full-day, high-quality prekindergarten for students who qualify, including those from low-income families. Rep. Johnson has been a vocal advocate for greater investments in prekindergarten in recent years.
“Those of us who have been pushing for more pre-K funding have finally been heard,” Rep. Johnson said. “Under this bill, the state would step in and help districts like Dallas ISD pay for full-day pre-K. This bill will help ensure that more students are prepared for success in kindergarten and beyond.”
The bill also requires that school districts spend at least some of their additional funding on higher salaries and wages for full-time employees.
“House Bill 3 will allow us to provide higher pay for teachers, as well as cafeteria staff, bus drivers, counselors and all of the other educators who work with our kids each day,” Rep. Johnson said. “There’s no question that educators across Texas deserve a pay raise.”