Today, State Representative Leighton Schubert (R-Caldwell) voted to pass House Bill 21, a major school finance proposal. The Texas House of Representatives voted 132-15 to send the measure to the Texas Senate.
The bill increases state funding for public education by $1.6 billion over the next two years, reduces Robin Hood by almost $400 million and makes structural changes to the state's school finance system.
"The Texas Supreme Court ruled last year that our school finance system was constitutional but deeply flawed, and we in the Texas House said we were not going to use that as an excuse to do nothing," said Representative Schubert. "House Bill 21 is a good first step in reforming public education in Texas by putting additional resources into our school districts, modernizing key aspects of our school finance system, and beginning to reduce our over-reliance on local property taxes."
Representative Schubert co-authored an amendment to House Bill 21 that helps hundreds of small districts with fewer than 1,600 students by removing a financial penalty for school districts smaller than 300 square miles. The amendment mirrored House Bill 875 by Schubert.
"This is a punitive provision that was clearly meant to force smaller school districts to consolidate," said Representative Schubert. "There is absolutely no reason why small, mostly rural districts, like Brazos, Snook, and Fayetteville ISDs for example, should be treated unfairly and I wanted to correct that."
The 85th Texas legislative session meets for 140 days, ending on May 29th.