Statement from Bibi Yasmin Katsev, Executive Director, Texas District Charter Alliance on final passage of House Bill 3, School Finance Reform in Texas

May 27, 2019

The Texas District Charter Alliance (DCA) praises the hard work and dedication of the 86th Legislature in passage of comprehensive school finance reform this session. One of three main legislative priorities for DCA this year was supporting a school finance bill that equally benefits traditional district and charter students and integrates an outcomes-based funding strategy that supports early literacy as well as college, career and military readiness.  DCA also promoted the need for more funding along with flexibility and innovation for districts and charters to reach outcomes.

The 86th Legislature passed the two-year state budget with an additional $11.5 billion to reduce school property taxes, increase teacher pay and increase state aid to schools; $2B to enhance compensation for teachers, librarians, counselors and nurses, prioritizing veteran educators with 6 or more years of service; and an increase of $230M for the Teacher Retirement System to maintain current health care benefits and premiums for retired teachers.

To support transformative and necessary collaborations in public education and to provide students with opportunities for greater innovation and success, DCA appreciates the inclusion of the following items in House Bill 3:

  • Increased funding for the basic allotment;
  • Outcomes-based funding for College, Career, and Military Readiness;
    • Though DCA also still supports 3rd grade outcomes funding.
  • Strategic teacher compensation designed by districts and charters if they choose, raises for teachers, librarians, counselors and nurses, incentive pay for rural and high poverty campuses, mentor teacher allotment;
    • Another DCA legislative priority this session we were pleased to see included, supports strategic teacher incentive pay proposals that allow a state-developed or rigorous locally-developed compensation and evaluation systems to be eligible for funding incentives for excelling teachers.
  • Funding for full-day Pre-K for all economically disadvantaged students along with English Language Learners and dyslexia identification program funds;
  • Tiered weighted funding across districts in terms of students’ poverty status to recognize that certain students have more challenging circumstances affecting their education;
  • Funding to improve literacy outcomes via professional development and phonics training in grades K-3, incentives for combatting summer slide incentives and funding to support dual language programs;
  • And more.

The Texas District Charter Alliance represents 14 organizations; Democracy Prep Charter School, El Paso ISD, El Paso Leadership Academy, Fort Worth ISD, Grand Prairie ISD, Great Hearts, KIPP Texas Public Schools, IDEA Public Schools, Midland ISD, Responsive Education Solutions, San Antonio ISD, Spring Branch ISD, Uplift Education, and YES Prep.

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