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Rep.Bell, Keith

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Representative Keith Bell Co-Authors Monumental School Finance Legislation  print page

by: Rep. Bell, Keith
03/05/2019

(Austin, Tx) Today, Representative Keith Bell co-authored House Bill 3, comprehensive legislation to fundamentally transform the public school finance system in Texas. Following the bill's filing, Rep. Bell was proud to join dozens of fellow House colleagues at a bipartisan joint press conference at the State Capitol to announce their support of House Bill 3.

House Bill 3 (also referred to as the "Texas Plan") invests $9 billion above enrollment growth and current law entitlement toward student achievement, teacher quality and property tax reform, and will put more money into Texas classrooms than ever before. It represents the first major rewrite of the state's public school finance system undertaken without threat of a court order.

"I am honored to sign on as a co-author to House Bill 3, this is the beginning to much needed reform to the school finance system. The Texas Plan benefits all students, districts and classrooms in House District 4, because it empowers local school districts to put more money into classrooms by raising the amount of per- student funding from $5,140 to $6,030. This funding adds significant resources to school districts while providing them the discretion to drive resources where they are needed most."

House Bill 3 gives the rural school districts in House District 4 the ability to earn and keep more money from local property taxes, provides added programs and resources for underserved students and other important components. House Bill 3 also gives school districts the ability to access an additional $140 million to recruit and retain quality teachers through their own local performance designation system, giving rural districts more resources to recruit and retain top teachers.

School finance and property tax reform are the two top priorities for the 86th Texas Legislature, and both have been declared emergency items by Governor Greg Abbott. House Speaker Dennis Bonnen opened up the press conference, thanking House Members for authoring this critical legislation that will make monumental improvements in the lives of Texas students and teachers.

I applaud Representative Bell for co-authoring House Bill 3 and for taking us one step closer to passing transformational school finance legislation this session, said Speaker Bonnen. "By committing to meaningful, lasting investments in Texas classrooms through House Bill 3, Rep. Bell is at the forefront of preparing our students for the demands of a bustling workforce and keeping the State of Texas a beacon of economic opportunity. I look forward to working with Rep. Bell to pass this critical legislation into law and thank them for their hard work in bringing this priority bill to fruition.

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