Legislators File School Funding Bill

Texas State Capitol

AUSTIN (February 20, 2009)-State legislators filed a bill Thursday that could change how school districts statewide receive funding.

School districts in Central Texas have recently been hit hard by a drop in attendance which, in turn, has lead to a drop in state funding.

Senate Bill 982 would replace the current school finance system with a formula that takes student attendance into account and provides more money for students in special programs like bilingual education and special education.

The recently file legislation would also require school districts to cut their property tax rates if the district gets more than 200 dollars per student from the state for two consecutive years.

During a 2006 school finance overhaul, the Legislature provided tax relief to property owners by setting limits on districts' maintenance and operating tax rates.

Increases in local property tax revenue triggered a reduction in the state's contribution.

Since then, school leaders statewide have been calling for changes this session.

Many districts have been cutting programs and dipping heavily into savings to make up for multimillion-dollar budget shortfalls.

Crawford ISD recently decided to shut the doors to its middle school, condensing the students into the elementary and high schools because of a half million dollar budget shortfall.

SB 982, as proposed, would use the Austin school district as the benchmark for determining funding to every school district.

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  • by Marlin Location: Texas on Feb 20, 2009 at 10:36 AM
    A couple of thoughts here.... 1) Some school districts are dipping into SAVINGS? WHY DO THEY HAVE SAVINGS? "Savings" are really money they OVERCHARGED the taxpayer & KEPT! That is wrong. NO GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY of any sort should ever have "savings". They are "saving" over our tax money they wrongfully kept. 2) Austin ISD is notorious for over spending on a per student basis. The over spending comes from having a top heavy school district. Too many principles, secretaries, maintenance people, & so forth & not enough teachers. The districts are always saying they need more money & teachers, the money is given, and they put it into everything EXCEPT TEACHER HIRES. This is also wrong. Our taxes would go down if we went back to the money being spent on teachers teaching the students, not on "support projects and staff". 3) We spend an awful lot of money to "teach" the children. Yet our schools are in bad shape. I say, FIX THE BUDGET PROBLEMS & CUT THE BUDGETS BEFORE MORE IS GIVEN OUT!
  • by Someone Location: Near-Here on Feb 20, 2009 at 10:32 AM
    Speaking American-English is required to get a Citizenship. I think it's time to say NO to bilingual education PERIOD!!!! STOP bowing down to illegal's!! JUST SAY NO!!! PERIOD! THEIR FREE EVERYTHING HAS ALREADY TOTALLY RUINED TEXAS' ECONOMY(AND CALIFORNIA). AND 'YES' THE PROPERTY TAXES NEED TO BE LOWERED!!!!!!!!!
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