Raise Your Hand Texas Calls on 88th Legislature to Increase Funding for Texas Public Schools

May 22, 2023  

With less than one week left in the 88th Legislative Session, our elected officials must act now to provide Texas public schools the funding needed to attract and retain our teacher workforce, keep up with double-digit inflation, and support the high-quality public school programs our 5.4 million students need and deserve. All of this can be done without linking it to a voucher scheme that diverts much-needed funding from our public schools.

There is still time and the fix is simple – raise the Basic Allotment

Texas entered this legislative session in January with a beginning balance of $33 billion and tens of billions more dollars available in projected state revenue over the next two years. To date, few decisions have been made that empower our schools with new, much-needed dollars. 

Right now schools across the state are planning next year’s budgets while the Legislature stalls on making decisions about meaningful school funding legislation. Without a strong commitment from the state to add funding, many school districts across Texas will have to consider cutting programs, reducing staff, shifting resources, and closing neighborhood schools. 

We know lawmakers have spent a great deal of energy and attention on passing legislation that would result in a meaningful property tax relief for school districts, totaling upwards of $20 billion. But let’s be clear, this does not increase state funding for our students or teachers. Without meaningful action this week, our teachers will still be paid $7,500 below the national average. And Texas will continue to remain in the bottom 10 states in per-student funding, almost $4,000 per student below the national average. 

There is still time to provide meaningful support to Texas public schools this legislative session, without making it contingent upon a billion-dollar voucher scheme. It’s a simple fix –increase the Basic Allotment in the state budget from $6,160 per student to $7,100. This increase will allow public school funding to keep up with double-digit inflation while providing an automatic teacher and staff pay raise, and reducing recapture in our school funding system. 

Raise Your Hand Texas urges our Texas Legislature to act now and pass meaningful school funding legislation. 

Tags: 88th Legislature 88th Session Basic Allotment school finance school funding

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