April 9, 2019

HOUSE PASSES LANDMARK SCHOOL FINANCE BILL

By Texas State Representative Ryan Guillen

Only 22 percent of 8th graders in Texas achieve post-secondary credentials within six years of their expected graduation rate. That number falls to a mere 12 for low-income students, which represents six out of 10 public school students in Texas.

These shocking statistics have caused concern for many, who desire the best for Texas and our children. However, as an author of House Bill 3, my colleagues and I have taken great strides in addressing the issue through a comprehensive school finance reform package. The milestone measure, which passed a House floor vote on April 3rd, allocates $9 billion in funding, in order to increase the basic allotment per student by more than 27 percent, while requiring that at least 25 percent of it to be spent on employee compensation, provides funds for full-day pre-K, and suppresses property taxes by providing tax relief and increasing the state's share of education funding.

Having successfully filed and passed several amendments to further strengthen the impact of the bill on our schools by increasing career and technology training, preventing reductions in funding, and removing caps on gifted and talented students, I also intend to continue our work to improve educational opportunity for our youth. The future of our state will someday be in the hands of our children and they deserve nothing less than the best that Texas is capable of providing them.