The Houston Independent School District has created a #FixSchoolFinance toolkit to equip public education supporters with the necessary information to effectively advocate for school finance reform.
This educational tool provides an overview of the challenges with the current system, outlines proposed solutions, and serves as a platform for direct communication with key lawmakers during the 2019 Texas Legislative Session.
For the past year, HISD has been part of a statewide coalition of school districts, nonprofit organizations, and business leaders educating the public and emphasizing the need for meaningful changes to the state’s school finance system. Reforming school finance and reducing recapture are top priorities for HISD during the 86th Texas Legislature.
“The situation has never been more serious for HISD and school districts across Texas,” said HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan. “HISD’s recapture payment continues to increase each year and cripples our local budget. Lawmakers must come together and enact policies that provide all districts with the resources necessary to meet the growing needs of Texas children.”
Growing recapture payments have forced HISD to make difficult reductions in staff and supports for students. Due to property value growth in the Houston area and other factors, HISD’s recapture payment is estimated to be $274 million this year and $312 million for the 2019-2020 school year.
“We’re excited that lawmakers across Texas now understand the dire need for reining in recapture and reforming school finance,” said Chief Governmental Relations and Strategy Officer Ashlea Turner. “To get this done, it’s going to take all groups coming together on behalf of Texas’ students.”
You can visit the #FixSchoolFinance Toolkit at www.houstonisd.org/fixschoolfinance.
Texas lawmakers convened for legislative session on Jan. 8, and the session will adjourn on May 27.