Rep. Faircloth files bill to address School Finance

TXHORRepresentative Wayne Faircloth (Chambers and Galveston Counties) filed House Bill 351, to address school finance in Texas going forward. On July 20th, Governor Abbott added that legislation establishing a statewide commission to study and recommend improvements to the current public school finance system; and other legislation relating to school finance, including Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction be included on the call for this Special Session.

The proposed legislation establishes the Texas Commission on Public School Finance to study and evaluate the feasibility of reducing recapture rates of school districts in which 65% or more of the student population is educationally disadvantaged or at risk of dropping out of school. Additionally, the Commission will evaluate the potential continuation of Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction (ASATR). Both the Commission and ASATR appear on Governor Greg Abbott’s priority list for the 85th First Called Special Session.

A study on recapture and potentially reducing payments for schools with at least 65% of the student population educationally disadvantaged or at risk of dropping out of school is very important to House District 23. Texas City ISD and Galveston ISD are both considered property-rich schools, despite large percentages of economically disadvantaged students. “Ball High School needs over $5 million in repairs, and we are sending millions of dollars to other schools across the state,” Rep. Faircloth said. “It makes perfect sense to take care of your own property before taking on the needs of others.”

Additionally, a study on the continuation of ASATR is especially important to House District 23. As it stands without ASATR funding, Texas City ISD would lose $11 million this year. This is nearly 14% of Texas City ISD’s total budget. Barbers Hill ISD would stand to lose about $7 million or roughly 10% of their total budget. Addressing this gap of funding lost by ASATR is a top priority for Rep. Faircloth.
[7-28-2017]

CONTACT: Wesley Starnes
(512) 463-0502
(AUSTIN, TX)

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