FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 03/05/2019
Representative Johnson Co-Authors Sweeping School Finance Reform Bill
Austin, Texas- This morning State Rep. Julie Johnson co-authored House Bill 3, comprehensive legislation to reform the public school finance system in Texas. Following the bill's filing, Rep. Johnson 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.
This morning I joined members of the Texas House to author HB 3, the first major rewrite of the state's public school finance system, said Rep. Johnson. Im proud to take these steps to fundamentally transform the school finance system in Texas, prioritize education, and put more money back into the pockets of our hardworking families. House Bill 3, which is the result of years of research, data, and testimony, provides meaningful support for our students, teachers, school districts and taxpayers. House Bill 3 substantially raises the minimum salary schedule for teachers and all district employees. In addition, House Bill 3 allows districts to increase salaries for their teachers without requiring further legislative approval by providing significant funding for district programs to recruit and retain quality teachers.
Superintendent John Chapman of Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD stated, As a superintendent in Texas, I value the support of the House of Representatives in House Bill 3 putting the emphasis on the specific needs of Texas students, on helping to attract, pay and retain high quality teachers, and on creating a balanced funding system that allows for property tax reform and local school district control.
Rep. Johnson also noted that the Texas Plan benefits school districts in District 115, specifically Coppell and Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISDs, who currently pay recapture -- or "Robin Hood" -- payments because House Bill 3 gives districts the ability to earn and keep more money from local property taxes. House Bill 3 provides property tax relief by lowering school property tax rates by 4 cents statewide and reduces recapture payments by more than 38 percent this biennium, dropping from $7.7 billion to $4.7 billion.
I applaud Rep. Johnson for 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. Johnson 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. Johnson to pass this critical legislation into law and thank them for their hard work in bringing this priority bill to fruition.
Highlights of House Bill 3:
Invests in Texas students and teachers by adding approximately $9 billion in funding above enrollment growth and current law entitlement over the next two years;
Empowers local school districts to put more money in their classrooms by raising the Basic Allotment from $5,140 to $6,030, an $890 increase per student;
Provides property tax reform by lowering school property tax rates by 4 cents statewide;
Reduces recapture from $7.7 billion to $4.7 billion for the biennium, a $3 billion or 38% reduction;
Establishes an early reading program that funds full-day, high quality Pre-K for low income students, setting the right foundation for students to be able to read at grade level by third grade;
Substantially raises the minimum teacher salary schedule and allocates an addition $140 million in funding for a teacher quality program, providing districts with the resources for recruiting and retaining teachers in the classroom;