Texas Teachers Pay Increase!

House Bill 3 (HB3)

It’s true. Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed into law one of the biggest overhauls in year for the Texas school finance system. It was a monumental moment in public education history for the state of Texas when Gov. Abbott placed his signature on House Bill 3, Tuesday at Parmer Lane Elementary School in Austin. Gov. Abbott quotes, “We did something that was considered to be highly improbable, and that is to be able to transform public education in the state of Texas without a court order forcing us to do so.”

House Bill 3 is an $11.6 billion dollar school finance measure that includes around $6.5 billion dollars in new public education spending; plus about $5.1 billion dollars that will be devoted to lowering property tax bills. This amount will focus on reforming schools and tax legislation. The spending will increase per-student base funding by about 20%. This will include money to award raises for teachers, fund full-day pre-K and reduce funds that wealthy districts must spend to subsidize poor districts through the state’s recapture program. The bill also includes funds for districts that want to start merit pay programs. It will provide funds for high-needs and rural school districts that need help to incentivize teachers. It will also give funds for bonuses ranging from $3,000 to $12,000 for high performing teachers.

It is estimated that the bill will lower tax rates by an average of 8 cents per $100 valuation in 2020 and 13 cents in 2021. This could be a tax cut for homeowners in 2020 and 2021.

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