P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
On the agenda: Article III - Education
Public Education Funding in SB 1:
- Increases TEA all funds budget by 0.5%;
- Continues the current funding formulas for public education - a shared local and state responsibility with local property tax revenue filling up the bucket first;
- Under the current formulas, the state's share of the funding goes down as local taxation levels rise, but overall funding for education increases;
- The total Foundation School Program entitlement, including both state funds and local property tax revenue, is estimated to be $91.7 billion in the 2016-17 biennium and $96.3 billion in the 2018-19 biennium under SB1, an increase of $4.6 billion or 5%;
- Adds $2.65 billion to cover student enrollment growth, which is projected to be more than 80,000 per year over the next two years;
- Increases the education instructional materials allotment by $29.6 million;
- To balance the budget, as a starting point SB 1 includes several 4% reductions in non-FSP grant program, allowing a wholesale review to ensure the state’s grant programs reach the most students, spur innovation and achieve measurable results;
- Provides an additional $32 million for high quality pre-kindergarten;
- Includes $5 million for Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), a new program designed to help students pursue careers in technology; and
- Provides $10 million to support Education Commissioner initiatives.
Teacher Retirement System:
- SB 1 funds TRS at $4.8B in all funds, an increase of $400M from FY16-17. The increase is due to projected payroll growth. SB 1 maintains the state contribution rates for both active and retired members.
- Funding for TRS comes from the state, local school districts, and both active and retired members.
- Due to rising health care costs, TRS faces a shortfall of over $1B for the biennium, absent system changes.
- The Joint Committee on TRS studied this issue during the interim, and its conclusions can be read at: http://www.senate.texas.gov/cmtes/84/c965/c965.InterimReport2016.pdf
Statement from Senator Nelson: "As a former teacher, I want to make sure our schools have the resources they need to help students succeed. Under the current formula the state’s share of the funding pie is getting smaller as local taxation levels grow, but the pie itself is getting bigger when you add up all sources of taxpayer resources. We will prioritize education this session."
To follow today's hearing visit: http://www.senate.state.tx.us/events.php