Killeen: Superintendent weighs in on school funding bill

Photo By: Chelsea Edwards

KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) A bill overhauling school funding is working its way through the Texas Legislature.

The Texas Senate approved an amended version of House Bill 3 Monday.

It increases student funding, gives teachers and librarians a $5,000 raise, and funds full-day pre-K for low-income students.

Killeen ISD Superintendent Dr. John Craft has been making weekly trips to Austin and speaking with legislators.

He has shown support for the previous version of the bill that offered a lower pay raise of $1,850 but was extended to more staff.

"The flexibility is pretty nice particularly when we're looking at overall compensation not only for our teachers- absolutely where the rubber meets the road, and our librarians, but all professional and auxiliary personnel,” says Craft.

“We're experiencing this bus driver shortage, and we definitely want to take a team approach as we begin to prepare for an overall compensation package through the budget process,” he says.

HB3 is also expected to provide property tax relief without a previously proposed one-cent increase to sales taxes.

The bill will head back to the house where representatives will debate the changes.

“This is the first legislative session I can recall where we’re actually discussing infusing additional dollars to support public education both on the House and on the Senate side,” adds Craft.

“That's promising. How it all plays out is of course yet to be seen.”

The last day of the legislative session is May 27th.