Facts and insights about Texas public schools
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Analysis: Legislative Session Was Successful, Not Historic

An analysis by the Texas Tribune notes that many legislators are using the word “transformative” to describe their work on school finance and property tax reform in the 86th session of the Texas Legislature, but that word may be more aspirational than informational.

There were accomplishments: Legislators cut property tax rates, increased funding for prekindergarten, put more money into education, and cut reliance on recapture payments. But it remains to be seen whether the property tax cuts will be large enough to provide real relief. As for the increase in education funding, “…The state isn’t obligated to keep up its new funding levels for schools in perpetuity, any more than it was when it cut public education dramatically in 2011,” author Ross Ramsey notes.

“Right now, the spending and legal changes in the school finance and property tax package are worth a bottle of champagne or two; it really is difficult to find a trail through the dense thicket of politics and policy around these subjects,” Ramsey writes.

“But will the changes and the $11.6 billion be “transformative,” and will they be sustainable in future state budgets?…Maybe it will turn out that they really have transformed this essential and expensive area of state government, and quelled rising voter concern about high property taxes in Texas,” he writes.

“Or—and honestly, this is usually the result in matters of public education and taxes—they just fixed it for a little while,” Ramsey concludes.

Read “Analysis: Texas legislators had a successful session, but not a historic one,” Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune.

May 30, 2019