In 2018, a commission got to work on redesigning the state’s finance formulas that funnel money to schools in a way that would overshadow the current reform.
A year and a half later, every Republican and Democrat in the statehouse voted yes on the landmark legislation that overhauled the school finance system.
According to The Dallas Morning News, advocates said it was largely due to Rep. Dan Huberty and Sen. Larry Taylor, who at the time led their respective chambers’ education committees and negotiated differences between the House and Senate creating minute fixes to address specific concerns to obtain the votes from their colleagues.
They managed to tackle one of the longest issues in Texas’ education: fixing a broken school finance system.
“Those two guys were the driving force behind House Bill 3, … the most sweeping legislation that we’ve had in the state, definitely during my career,” said Doug Williams, superintendent of Sunnyvale ISD and president of the Texas Association of School Administrators.
Unfortunately neither of them announced they were running for reelection, which will be a huge blow for Austin in 2023 when lawmakers will have to battle with COVID-19’s aftermath. Without Huberty and Taylors education expertise, tackling the needs of students who fell behind during the pandemic might be more challenging.
“If losing Huberty is a blow to us, losing Taylor is potentially devastating to [the Senate],” said Rep. Diego Bernal, D-San Antonio, who worked with both lawmakers to pass school finance legislation in 2019.