As students from around the state wrap up the school year, I especially want to congratulate all of the graduating high school seniors in House District 57 for their hard work and dedication throughout their educational career. Whether these students continue their education at the college level, or choose to start a new journey in our state’s thriving workforce, I wish all of our recent graduates the very best as they embark on this exciting new chapter in their lives.
With that, here’s an update from your State Capitol. . .
In the final week of the 86th Legislative Session, the Texas Legislature put the finishing touches on House Bill 3, which delivers on our promise to bring much-needed change to our school finance system, while also alleviating the burden of rising property taxes throughout our state. This legislation is the product of countless hours of testimony from students, teachers, experts in public education, and everyday taxpayers. As a member of the Conference Committee for this bill, I was honored to play a role in helping negotiate the provisions of this bill to ensure that our public schools have the resources necessary to prepare our students for a bright future.
While this legislation has many components, I want to provide you with some of the highlights that will bring real and meaningful change to our public schools. House Bill 3 will increase equity throughout the state by increasing funding to the basic allotment, which will help level the playing field for our smaller, rural schools. Importantly, this legislation will provide a much-needed pay increase pay for classroom teachers, counselors, and other school employees. This was especially important to me, as I have long-been a proponent of increasing pay to attract and retain quality teachers in our classroom. For students, this bill drives more money into the classroom to ensure that they are receiving quality instruction, expands the Career and Technical Education (CTE) and technical application courses, and creates a study of the STAAR test to examine the validity and effectiveness of the STAAR, which will hopefully help improve or eliminate this high stakes test.
On the property tax side, House Bill 3 dedicates over $5 billion for property tax relief, while also increasing the state’s share of public education funding from 38% to 45%, which will help alleviate the burden placed on property taxpayers to cover the cost of a quality education. The bill also increases transparency by requiring efficiency audits to ensure taxpayer dollars are being used responsibly. Though these are just a few of the highlights, this historic piece of legislation will serve to benefit every Texan by reducing property taxes, strengthening our public schools, and creating a better economic environment that promotes prosperity in every corner of the Lone Star State.
The mobile office is on the road this month and looks forward to seeing you on the following dates, in the following locations: June 5th at the Leon County Courthouse in Centerville from 9:00-11:00am, or at the Madison County Courthouse Annex in Madisonville from 1:30-3:30pm; June 19th at the Houston County Courthouse Annex in Crocket from 9:00am-11:00am, or at the Trinity County Courthouse in Groveton from 1:30pm-3:30pm; and finally on June 26th at the San Augustine County Courthouse in San Augustine from 9:00am-11:00am.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact our office if we can help you in any way. Our district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762, or you can call my Capitol office at (512) 463-0508.