This week, the Texas House released a draft budget that would put about $7 billion in new state money into public schools. That’s a significant contrast to the current biennial budget, which reduced spending by $800 million from the previous biennium.
The proposed increase in funding could significantly reduce local school property taxes. As we’ve pointed out before, the current budget counts on a whopping 14 percent increase in school property taxes just to finance the continued decrease in state funding.
The Senate budget draft would put about $2.7 billion less into schools than the House version, but that’s still an improvement on the current budget.
Why does this new state money for schools matter for Texas cities? Because it recognizes that more money for schools is the only way to provide meaningful property tax relief. The new money shows that some in the legislature realize that cities have been scapegoats, and that they want to focus on the real problem.
We applaud state budget writers for their recognition that significant school finance reform is the only way to achieve meaningful property tax relief.