Why We’re Excited About HB 3
The moment we’ve been waiting for is here: A comprehensive school finance bill has been filed in the Texas House.
We applaud House Public Education Committee Chairman Dan Huberty (R-Houston) and his thorough and thoughtful improvement to our school finance system through House Bill 3. It’s clear the legislation carries many recommendations of the Texas Commission on Public School Finance, as presented in its report from late last year. Upon initial reading, we are encouraged by the way HB3 aligns with our values.
Students First: HB 3 puts students first by encouraging districts to set a five year third grade reading goal disaggregated by subpopulations that is reported annually in a public board meeting. In addition, districts will receive more equitable funding for low-income students, with an increased focus on the density of poverty.
Additional Dollars to Improve Outcomes: HB 3 provides dedicated funding streams for strategies, including early literacy initiatives, dual language programming, and additional summer instructional days, that will help boost student achievement.
Teachers Matter: Teachers are the leading in-school factor for student success. HB 3 recognizes this and creates an effective educator allotment to encourage districts to implement multi-measure evaluation systems that allow administrators to provide personalized professional development and keep Texas’ strongest educators in the classroom.
Local Innovation and Autonomy: By significantly expanding the basic allotment, and increasing the yield on local tax revenues, HB 3 decreases the amount school districts owe the state in recapture. This also ensures more local tax dollars stay within local districts.
Given its ability to provide significantly more funding in the future as academic outcomes improve, we hoped the legislation would have included Outcomes-Based Funding as recommended by the Texas Commission on Public School Finance. That said, Texas Representatives (especially those serving in the House Public Education Committee) should be proud of the work they have done so far.
This bill is a significant investment in public school students. We are excited to watch it evolve and will provide regular updates as our state lawmakers continue this difficult and important work.