The Texas House of Representatives passed HB 3 Wednesday afternoon, increasing public education funding and granting property tax relief. The bill invests an additional $9 billion in public education – of that, $3 billion will go towards property tax relief.
Included in the bill is a $1,850 teacher and staff pay raise, an increase in per-pupil spending and more funding to educate low-income and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students, or students who do not speak English as their first language. Additional funding will be geared towards dual language programs.
The bill also funds full-day pre-kindergarten, programs for dyslexic students, new facilities, and career and technology education programs. HB 3 prioritizes education and disseminates funds to programs critical to the development and academic success of children.
Other minor provisions made to the bill include an amendment that increases funding for special education students and another providing funds for school safety and security. Existing funding will also be utilized to provide child care for student parents at risk of dropping out of school. The Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS), includes pregnancy as a reason for a student’s withdrawal and inability to attend school.
Amendments gutted from the bill include one aimed at restoring funding for gifted and talented programs.
HB 3 will pass over to the Texas Senate for their consideration.