The following excerpt is from testimony submitted by Texas 2036 Senior Policy Advisor Mary Lynn Pruneda to the Senate Committee on Education and the House Public Education Committee on May 24, 2022.
House Bill 3 was a complicated piece of legislation. There are billions of dollars flowing through dozens, if not hundreds, of calculations. What is often lost in the intricate discussions of school finance is reflecting on the good work the Legislature accomplished in 2019. HB 3 resulted in a more fair, more equitable, and more productive system. With faithful implementation, it should over time lead to improved student outcomes.
Here are eight reasons why School Finance HB 3 is still worth bragging about (download the full testimony below to learn more about the data). HB 3:
- Updated almost every existing student weight and doubled the number of overall formula adjustments
- Approach to school finance is being copied by other states
- Removed outdated elements that occluded the formula calculations
- Prevents any district from being funded below their entitlement
- Made innovative changes to the compensatory education allotment and substantially increased its funding
- Significantly increased special education funding
- Funded high-impact and student-first strategies through the Early Education Allotment and its related Reading Academies requirement
- Flows more money to students who have traditionally been left behind
By the numbers, HB 3 is a great improvement over the prior system. Texas 2036 and partner organization Texas Association of Business are committed to maintaining these changes and continuing to promote HB 3’s positive reforms at our engagements across the state and the country. The work that the Legislature did to invest in our state’s future outcomes and commit to developing and sustaining a fair, transparent, and workable system for all school districts is truly something we can all be proud of. These reforms, taken in conjunction with the state’s strong approach to assessment and accountability, offer the state the opportunity to work toward improving student outcomes quickly.