School Finance

Texas Teachers Are Getting Pay Raises, But How Much Depends On The District

Jul 16, 2019
Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Legislature passed a multibillion-dollar school finance bill during its most recent session. The funds provide a pay increase for teachers and other members of school staff. But now comes the hard part: how to actually apportion those raises.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin Independent School District wants to give 7% raises to teachers with five or more years of experience and a 6% raise to all other staff, Superintendent Paul Cruz announced Thursday. Staff includes cafeteria workers and bus drivers, in addition to principals and administrative workers.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law one of lawmakers' biggest achievements this year, a massive overhaul of Texas' long-beleaguered school finance system.

Julia Reihs / KUT

The Texas Legislature usually finds a theme that emerges during the 140-day session. Two years ago, many people would call it the session of the “bathroom bill.” Even though an effort to restrict restroom access for the state’s transgender population did not become law, the debate around the subject took up much of the oxygen under the dome.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

The Texas Legislature on Sunday advanced a $250.7 billion two-year budget, ending weeks of deliberation over how much money to spend on the 2019 legislative session’s two highest priorities: public school funding and property tax relief.

House Speaker Dennis Bonnen
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Days after top Republican leaders announced they had a deal on a school finance bill long in the making, the Texas House and Senate on Saturday approved the final legislation, bringing mandated teacher pay raises and property tax cuts one step closer to becoming law.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

More than 100 Austin ISD teachers and staff rallied before Monday’s school board meeting, demanding a 10 percent raise as the board prepares to pass its budget next month.

Juan Figueroa / The Texas Tribune

The Texas Senate on Monday approved a bill to massively overhaul public school finance, but did so while backing away from a proposal to use an increased sales tax to lower school district property taxes.

Emree Weaver / The Texas Tribune

After a long wait, the Texas Senate has finally unveiled a thorough proposal for how to tackle school finance and school property tax reform — bringing back several ideas the House already nixed.

Julia Reihs / KUT

With Texas House lawmakers unveiling their long-awaited school finance proposal Tuesday and the Senate's version likely close behind, teacher pay appears to be emerging as one of the biggest sticking points between the two chambers.

Jon Shapley/KUT

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Senate Committee on Finance held a public hearing Monday to discuss a bill that would give a $5,000 pay raise to full-time teachers across the state. But before it passed in the committee, there was pushback from a group of school professionals who testified the bill’s definition of “full-time teacher” wasn’t adequate.

 

Gabriel C. Pérez

The Austin Independent School District held its first public meeting Tuesday night to hear from the community about proposed budget cuts, which include school closings or consolidations.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott delivered his State of the State address today before the Texas Legislature. He kicked off the speech with a long list of platitudes about the state: from leading the nation in job creation to having the fastest growing economy in the U.S. to hitting its lowest recorded level of unemployment ever.

Martin do Nascimento for KUT

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will detail his legislative priorities for this session this morning in his State of the State speech.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Thousands of people will rally at the Capitol today to call for more K-12 options as part of National School Choice Week. But inside the Capitol, the once-prominent conversation isn't happening.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Top Texas lawmakers this year are proposing allocating billions of more dollars for public schools, but a portion of those dollars will likely have strings attached. And some education advocates worry the strings will lead to an even greater emphasis being placed on standardized tests in the state.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Monday, about 34,000 teachers will walk off the job in Los Angeles – a move described as "historic." It echoes what happened almost a year ago when a West Virginia teacher walkout triggered similar strikes elsewhere in the US. Teachers all over the country are lobbying for higher pay.

Here in Texas, 10 percent of all first-year teachers leave their jobs before their second year. Better pay may be key to keeping more of them in the classroom, and last week, top state lawmakers pledged that 2019 will be the "Year of the Teacher" in the Texas Legislature, promising to boost salaries. But there's still many details yet to be decided.

Image via Flickr/Texas Comptroller (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

When Texas lawmakers arrived in Austin Tuesday, they were probably at their most optimistic – the process of debating and passing legislation will be tough, but there's possibility that great things can happen. While many things are still unknown about the 86th legislative session, one thing is clear: lawmakers know the limits of the state's budget because Comptroller Glenn Hegar has already released those details. The legislature will have $119 billion to work with, Hegar says.

Kristen Cabrera/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Still hot off the presses is a list of 34 recommendations that's meant to guide Texas lawmakers to find ways to fix the state's public education system. Recommendations by the Texas Commission on Public School Finance will be taken up during the legislature's 2019 session, beginning in January. Their list is a compilation of ideas the commission has been discussing over the past year.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

An early estimate shows Gov. Greg Abbott's proposal for a school finance fix would provide three times more dollars for property tax relief as it would additional money for school districts in 2020.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

It’s a typical summer day at Emily Herrington’s house in Northeast Austin. Her two daughters, Penly, 7, and Laurel, 3, are playing with their kittens and reading books in the living room.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

On October 2, 1989, the Texas Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the state’s school finance system was unequal. The case was Edgewood ISD versus Kirby, pitting San Antonio’s Edgewood Independent School District against the state education commissioner at the time, William Kirby.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

Teachers have walked off the job in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Oklahoma – and there are rumblings that Arizona could be next. Their demands in each state vary, but they can be boiled down to wanting a bigger piece of the pie, either for themselves or the schools they work in.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

The cost of college continues to creep higher and higher – and financial aid isn’t keeping up.

More Texans are receiving those hefty student loan bills in the mail after graduation, but is college still worth the investment?

Nonprofit online college WGU Texas took the temperature of how Texans are feeling about the state of higher education in their annual poll, which you can read here.

Josh Blank of Strategic Research Associates conducted the study, and he says most Texans are still on board with higher ed.

KUT News

From Texas Standard:

One issue that's been top priority during the special legislative session is school finance. On Thursday, nearly 1,500 school officials sent a letter to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick urging him to support the primary legislation that deals with school finance, House Bill 21, which passed out of the House on Monday. The Senate's Education Committee heard testimony on HB 21 Friday.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The Texas House passed a package of bills Friday that would put $1.8 billion into public schools and help out struggling small, rural school districts.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

After months of back and forth over how to fix what ails funding for Texas schools, lawmakers argued late into the night, Wednesday over a bill that would pump more state money into school budgets statewide. In the end, members of the House and Senate couldn't see eye to eye on what to leave in the bill to make school financing more equitable statewide.

School Finance Legislation Is Pronounced Dead

May 25, 2017
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

An effort to overhaul the state’s beleaguered school finance system has been declared dead after the Texas Senate Education Committee’s chairman said Wednesday that he would not appoint conferees to negotiate with the House.

“That deal is dead,” Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, said.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The Texas Senate Sunday night approved a bill that would both simplify the formulas for funding public schools and allow parents of kids with disabilities to take state money to leave the public system for private schools or homeschooling.

Senators voted 21-10 to approve House Bill 21, which the House originally intended to reform a complicated system for allocating money to public schools and to provide a funding boost for most public schools.

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

The Texas House on Thursday approved a proposal that would phase out an unpopular business tax that provides funding for public schools.

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