North Texas Superintendents Head to Austin in Support of School Funding Overhaul

Alan Scaia
April 03, 2019 - 8:29 am

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DALLAS (KRLD) - The Texas House of Representatives will vote Wednesday on an overhaul to the school finance system.

House Bill 3 would increase funding from the state by $9 billion, increasing funding by about $900 per student.

HB 3 would also reduce "Robin Hood" recapture, cutting the amount of money districts determined to be "property wealthy" return to the state to be distributed to poorer districts.

"Under this plan, we have many districts whose recapture payments go to zero. We're very excited about that," says Dan Huberty, the chairman of the House Public Education Committee. He says recapture would drop 38 percent.

Monday, Dallas ISD superintendent Michael Hinojosa went to Austin to meet with the lieutenant governor and rally support for the House measure with lawmakers. Wednesday, Arlington Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos will go to Austin.

Cavazos says Arlington would use the additional funding to expand dual-language programs, STEM education and to expand pre-K from half-days to full-days.

Plano ISD Superintendent Sara Bonser says her district has paid $1.9 billion in recapture to the state since 1993, including $208 million in the 2018-2019 school year.

"Any relief we can find in recapture is a benefit to this community and to our school district," Bonser says. "We would support anything that allows us to keep more money in our district to serve our students in Plano ISD."

The House and Senate would still need to work through differences between their two bills.