With the 88th legislative session quickly coming to a close, and the major bill that would increase funding for public school students through an increase to the Basic Allotment (BA) stalled in the Texas Senate, the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) urges the Texas Senate to provide a substantial increase to the BA for schools.
The state has an unprecedented surplus of funds this legislative cycle, providing the Texas Legislature with the ability to substantially increase funding for public schools. Passage of HB 100 would increase the BA by $140 over two years. The bill passed the House April 7 and was referred to the Senate Education Committee on May 2, but it has yet to be set for a public hearing.
Although historic legislation was passed in 2019 that provided additional revenue for school districts, double-digit increases in inflation during the last several years have substantially reduced how far those funds can be stretched. School districts across the state are grappling with an unprecedented teacher shortage, increased costs for fuel, utilities, and insurance, among other expenses.
The Texas Senate must move HB 100 forward and provide a substantial increase in the BA for schools. An increase to $900 per student is needed just to keep up with inflation.
Considerably increasing the BA would supply additional funding to school districts, provide an automatic pay increase for teachers and other non-administrative staff, reduce recapture, and provide some discretionary spending at the local level to address critical needs. This change would also increase the state’s share of public education funding, which is currently around 32% of school district Maintenance and Operations.
“With the largest surplus in state history, combined with the greatest financial need from schools in history, it is time for the Senate to do better for Texas children,” said Dr. Kevin Brown, executive director of TASA. “The great state of Texas already ranks near the bottom nationally in per-student funding and simply must do better. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to finally fund our schools appropriately. Needed funds will go toward teacher salaries, safety and security measures, mental health support, and addressing 14.5% inflation over the past two years, but they are being held hostage over school vouchers by Gov. Abbott and the Texas Senate. It is time to stop playing political games with funds for Texas children. The time for the Senate to take significant action to increase the Basic Allotment for our public schools is now.”
As legislative deadlines quickly approach, TASA urges the Texas Senate to provide a substantial increase to the BA for schools. This increase would assist school leaders in attracting and retaining quality teachers and other critical staff while also mitigating the impacts of devastating inflationary pressures schools have faced since 2019.
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