Statement on final version of the HB 3 school finance bill


May 23, 2019

Rob D’Amico, 512-627-1343

Statement from Texas AFT President Louis Malfaro today on HB 3 :

The Governor, Lt. Governor and Speaker held a press event today regarding the school finance bill (HB 3). There is currently no copy of the bill available to the public, so we are relying on their statements and the legislation passed by each house to understand what might be included in the legislation. The bill appears to direct four to five billion dollars of new state dollars for public schools in Texas. This increased funding is an important first step toward fully funding a high-quality system of public schools that will help our schools as they attempt to reach the goals of higher achievement for all students, especially as we educate a growing and more diverse population of learners.  According to these three state leaders, there is more money earmarked for property tax relief than for public school children, a disappointing misplacement of priorities given the extreme needs of our schools.

We know Texans overwhelmingly support higher pay for educators, and although the details of the bill are still uncertain, the announcement mentioned only teachers, counselors, librarians and nurses. We will be urging our local school boards to use new state funding to raise the pay of all school employees.  It appears that a separate bill (SB 12) will provide some relief for retired teachers, however, as with the school finance bill, the public and press have not been given a copy of the proposed legislation.

Texas American Federation of Teachers represents teachers, paraprofessionals, support personnel, and higher-education employees across the state. Texas AFT is affiliated with the 1.6-million-member American Federation of Teachers and AFL-CIO.