/CMSApp/TTV/media/Blog/TXlege/TX-State-Capitol-454075065-1903x776.jpg?ext=.jpg /CMSApp/TTV/media/Blog/TXlege/TX-State-Capitol-454075065-1903x776.jpg?ext=.jpg

House Democrats file $40 billion education spending bill

Teach the Vote
Teach the Vote

Date Posted: 10/19/2023 | Author: Kate Johanns

Although the only education-related item currently on the call for the third special session is “providing education savings accounts for all Texas schoolchildren,” and Gov. Greg Abbott has publicly stated he won’t put anything else on the call until his voucher program is passed, a group of Texas House Democrats introduced a school finance bill Thursday that highlights all that Texas could accomplish by investing $40 billion in its public schools. Texas currently ranks 43rd in per-pupil spending; $40 billion is the amount needed to bring Texas up to the national average.  

House Bill (HB) 177—the “Fully Fund Our Future Act”—by Rep. Gina Hinojosa (D–Austin) proposes to: 

  • Raise teacher pay by $15,000 and support staff pay by $5,500; 
  • Reduce class sizes to provide more one-on-one attention for students; 
  • Address the student suicide and mental health crisis by hiring more school counselors; 
  • Eliminate the special education funding gap; and 
  • Dramatically increase school safety and mental health funding. 

The state is projected to have an $18 million budget surplus and $23.8 billion in its Economic Stabilization Fund (the “Rainy Day Fund”) by the end of this two-year budget cycle. Despite having the economic means to pass such a bill, HB 177 is unlikely to move through the legislative process given the current political climate. Rather, House Democrats have filed the bill to spark conversations about the real needs in Texas education, which don’t include private school vouchers. 

“We know Texans want these things for their own children and all 5.4 million public school students,” ATPE Governmental Relations Director Monty Exter said in a statement about the Fully Fund Our Future Act. “Unfortunately, the governor, for all his bluster about parental rights, is not listening to parents. The sad reality is that he isn’t likely to listen to what parents or educators want for Texas kids until we say it from the voting booth. We must vote in March and vote in November for leaders who want what is best for Texas kids, and we must vote in large enough numbers that the message is too loud to ignore.” 


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