Money Matters in Public Education: House Bill 3

Case Study

Texas Legislation House Floor

The Issue

Money matters in public education. A high-quality and well-funded public education system is essential for every child to reach their full potential. Yet, Texas’ public schools have faced significant budget cuts and reduced funding from the state, leading to an overreliance on local taxpayers to fund public schools. The Texas public school finance system has been challenged in courtrooms and at the Capitol for decades.

Texas ranks in the bottom ten states in per-student funding with a student population that is over 60% low socioeconomic. Even with recent infusions of funding (including the passage of HB 3), Texas is still about $4,000 behind the national average in per-student funding.

How We Delivered

Raise Your Hand Texas stood with an unprecedented alliance of public education, social service and community organizations, and business organizations as a united “Big Tent” supporting school finance reform. The campaign tested and deployed core messaging to help convey the importance and urgency of comprehensive school finance reform, driving the message to lawmakers that money matters in public education and the time to act is now.

In 2019, in a rare moment of bipartisanship, the Texas Legislature stood together to deliver a much-needed funding boost for the state’s public education system.

Outcome and Impact

House Bill 3 (HB 3) invested in teacher pay raises, full-day pre-kindergarten, an optional extended-year program funding, and additional dollars for low-income students. During 2020 Raise Your Hand Texas candidate forums, many legislators committed to fully funding HB 3, and lawmakers made good on that promise during the 2021 Legislative Session.


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