Dear PTA Advocates,
Once again and with your help, Texas PTA was instrumental in stopping the passage of legislation to create a voucher program in Texas. Our message continues to be, “Focus on strengthening our public schools! All students benefit from that goal.”
We made small, but important progress to begin to reform our outdated, inequitable and inadequate school finance system during the Special Legislative Session that lasted for 30 days this summer. HB 21 by Rep. Dan Huberty, created a grant program to provide extra support for students with dyslexia and autism, removed a penalty in funding for very small school districts, created a step-down to help some districts to adjust to the loss of specialized funding they had been receiving since 2006, and created a commission to develop recommendations for school finance reform that can be considered in the next Legislative Session that will begin in January of 2019.
While we did not see the progress in reforming our school funding system that we were hoping for, we made great progress in educating legislators about the fact that as property values rise and homeowners pay more in taxes, the state, for at least 10 years, has been using those increased revenues to offset their share of the cost of public education so that they now contribute less than 32% of the cost of education in Texas. This cannot continue. The state must increase its share of funding for public schools and must fund schools equitably. We will continue to work toward this goal.
Thanks again for making a difference,
Texas PTA Board of Directors and Staff
Texas PTA Advocacy Committee