Preliminary House Budget Doesn’t Move Education Funding Forward

Chandra Villanueva

Today, the House budget proposal hits the floor for what will likely to a marathon debate on what our 2014-15 spending will look like. When it comes to public education, the House proposal doesn’t meet the needs of Texas’ children. Here’s an excerpt from my newest policy page about school finance and the House budget proposal:

“The House proposal adds $2.5 billion more in General Revenue to Texas Education Agency funding than the January 2013 introduced version.

Like the Senate, the House sets the Regular Program Adjustment Factor at 100 percent, preventing further cuts through this mechanism. The House provides a greater increase in the basic allotment than the Senate with $4,890 for 2014 and $4,975 for 2015 and a larger reduction to target revenue. Since these changes were negotiated after House Appropriations marked-up Article III, funding details on these provisions are located in Article IX of the budget.

Even though the greater basic allotment and target revenue reduction add nearly $1 billion more than the Senate budget, the House proposal still doesn’t bring real per-student spending back to pre-recession levels. At $9,435 per student, state/local/federal spending per student is $761 less than in 2008.

The House budget proposal includes $30.8 million more in GR for educational programs outside the Foundation School Program than the 2012-13 budget. This is less than half of what is offered in the Senate budget and nothing is specifically earmarked for Pre-K. Like the Senate, the House Appropriations budget also reflects an additional $230 million in GR for textbooks and other instructional materials, compared to 2012-13 spending.”

For more on school finance and the budget, including what’s in the Senate proposal, click here for the full-length policy page.

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