PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – School district leaders from North Texas are headed to the Texas Capitol Wednesday as House members vote on one of the most anticipated pieces of legislation this year: school finance.
Under HB 3, the state would spend $9 billion more on public schools during the 2020-2021 budget than the current two year budget.
As part of the legislation, lawmakers would reduce the property tax increases Texans have had to pay these past years and inject more state funding for schools.
Earlier this week, the Texas House released a list of how much more money each school district would receive during the next two years.
Plano ISD School Board President Missy Bender said she likes what she has seen so far. “This is very good news.”
If approved, her school district would receive $32 million dollars more in state funding next year than this year. “We’re really happy to see those projections. We’ve been waiting anxiously to get the runs from the legislature and the fact that it’s a positive number is very exciting to us.”
Aside from Plano ISD, other North Texas districts would see their funding increase next year. They include $114 million more for Dallas ISD and $66 million more for Fort Worth ISD. Arlington ISD would receive nearly $33 million more, while Garland would get nearly $15 million more. Both Frisco ISD and Lewisville ISD would receive an extra $26 million, and Denton ISD would receive $11 million more than this year.
Dallas ISD superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa said the additional money would help the district. “We can fund our initiatives that have worked. Our teacher compensation, our pre-kindergarten, our school choice, our strategic compensation, our social equity. All those things can get funded without a deficit at the end.”
In addition, school districts that must collect property tax money and hand it over to the state, often called Robin Hood or Recapture, would also see reductions.
For example, Dallas ISD would see its $186 million payment to the state slashed to $11 million next year. Plano ISD’s recapture would drop from nearly $252 million this year to more than $159 million in 2020.
The state would lower Frisco ISD’s recapture payment from nearly $44 million this year to $3 million next year, and Lewisville ISD would see its payment be reduced from more than $61 million this year to nearly $5 million next year.
Arlington ISD, Denton ISD, Fort Worth ISD, and Garland ISD, are among the school districts that don’t have to make recapture payments.
After House members consider amendments, they will vote on HB 3, and a final vote, the third reading, could come Thursday.
Bender said she will be among those at the Capitol. “I think it’s very important to show support first of all for the hard work that’s been going on. Mind you, it’s not finished. We still have to go through the process of the Senate too.”
The Senate’s bill, SB4, was referred to the chamber’s Education committee.