87th Legislature: Key Items in Education Policy

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Download a copy of TASBO's legislative positions for the 87th Regular Session.

The Comptroller’s most recent fiscal estimate for the upcoming biennium reflects relatively flat available revenue which will be needed to provide services to a growing and increasingly diverse population. It will be a challenging legislative session, and difficult choices will no doubt mean no one gets all of the things they hoped for. We look forward to being part of the conversation, to helping advance the cause of public education, and to helping our members engage effectively in that process.

Some of the items that TASBO feels are most important as we look ahead to the 87th legislative session include the following:

Sustaining the funding provided by House Bill 3. House Bill 3 included significant and meaningful changes for public education that cannot happen overnight in a public school system which educates nearly 5.5 million students over more than 8,800 campuses. Prior to the 86th legislative session, the school finance formulas had remained unchanged for more than 30 years. The challenge during the current biennium will be sustaining the important investments made last session in the face of harsh economic circumstances.

Focusing on meaningful transparency. Texas taxpayers deserve transparency from all levels of their government, including public schools. We support initiatives designed to increase the public’s understanding of the public education system and to streamline data collection. Special kudos to the ten districts who were awarded the Award of Excellence for Financial Management this inaugural year. This award highlights those entities who have implemented professional standards, best practices and innovations in financial reporting.

Attracting and retain talent through competitive salary and benefits. Public education is one of the largest business enterprises in the state. I recognize that this has been a difficult year for our employees at all levels. Thank you and those around you for your service. We must continue to champion the value of a profession serving the children of Texas and we can only do that by supporting the financial needs of our employees at all levels.

Recognizing the local cost of state initiatives. We fully support reducing unnecessary regulation where possible so that districts may redirect their activities from compliance to outcomes.

Recognizing school district contributions to economic development. Texas school districts contribute to the state economy in numerous and significant ways, most importantly by helping create the educated workforce that will support Texas in the years to come. But they also serve as the largest employers in many communities and help set tax policy that can encourage investment in local communities that have had transformative impacts. We must work closely with our business partners to best meet the needs of our students.

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