Statement on Special Session Priority to Establish a Commission to Recommend Improvements to The Public School Finance System

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 7, 2017

CONTACT: John Colyandro

AUSTIN – The Texas Conservative Coalition (TCC) today issued the following release. It focuses on the special session item to create a statewide commission to study and recommend improvements to the current public school finance system.

The Texas school finance system is in need of significant reform, with high property taxes, inequitable funding for schools, and a bifurcated system that relies on state sales tax revenue and local property tax collections. The property tax is inherently inequitable and a growing burden for homeowners and businesses.

Representative Phil King (R – Weatherford), a Board Member of TCC, has authored House Bill 191 this special session. HB 191 will establish a statewide commission to study and recommend improvements to Texas’ public school finance system. “It’s clear that our public school finance system is flawed. We can’t keep patching the problems and avoiding the substantive issues. We need this commission to sit down, do the work, and find solutions that will set the standard for our public schools moving forward.” Said Representative King.

The school finance system has been litigated for decades, which should be enough to promote change. While the system was upheld by the Texas Supreme Court in 2015, the Court observed notable flaws and implored the Legislature to reform the system. By establishing a school finance reform commission, Texas can begin to work toward substantive change to address inefficiencies in the system, approach school funding and expenditures more prudently, and relieve property taxpayers of a growing burden unmatched by performance indicators.

“School finance has been an issue for as long as I’ve been here,” said fellow TCC Board Member Representative Dan Flynn (R – Canton) “Much like the pension liability problem, real reform is needed and it’s going to take the focused effort of this commission and the entire Legislature to ensure we are doing what’s best for our students, parents, taxpayers and school employees.”

Support for this legislation continues to grow as 55 TCC members have signed on in support of the effort, including:

  • Representative Charles “Doc” Anderson
  • Representative Rodney Anderson
  • Representative Cecil Bell
  • Representative Kyle Biedermann
  • Representative Dwayne Bohac
  • Representative Dennis Bonnen
  • Representative Greg Bonnen
  • Representative Cindy Burkett
  • Representative DeWayne Burns
  • Representative Dustin Burrows
  • Representative Angie Chen Button
  • Representative Briscoe Cain
  • Representative Giovanni Capriglione
  • Representative Jay Dean
  • Representative Gary Elkins
  • Representative Wayne Faircloth
  • Representative Pat Fallon
  • Representative James Frank
  • Representative Craig Goldman
  • Representative Cole Hefner
  • Representative Justin Holland
  • Representative Jason Isaac
  • Representative Mark Keough
  • Representative Matt Krause
  • Representative Stan Lambert
  • Representative Brooks Landgraf
  • Representative Mike Lang
  • Representative Jodie Laubenberg
  • Representative Mike Leach
  • Representative Will Metcalf
  • Representative Rick Miller
  • Representative Geanie Morrison
  • Representative Jim Murphy
  • Representative Andrew Murr
  • Representative Tom Oliverson
  • Representative Tan Parker
  • Representative Dennis Paul
  • Representative Larry Phillips
  • Representative Matt Rinaldi
  • Representative Kevin Roberts
  • Representative Scott Sanford
  • Representative Matt Schaefer
  • Representative Mike Schofield
  • Representative Leighton Schubert
  • Representative Matt Shaheen
  • Representative Ron Simmons
  • Representative Drew Springer
  • Representative Phil Stephenson
  • Representative Valoree Swanson
  • Representative Tony Tinderholt
  • Representative Jason Villalba
  • Representative James White
  • Representative Terry Wilson
  • Representative Paul Workman
  • Representative Bill Zedler